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NEW ZEALAND WINEGROWER

APRIL / MAY 2019 ISSUE 115

THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE NEW ZEALAND WINE INDUSTRY

Gisborne Shines Chardonnay and Sparkling Symposium

PwC Review Where to for sustainability

Global Winemaker APRIL / MAY 2019 ISSUE 115

Patrick Materman’s new role

Sauvignon 2019 The low down


recycleglass.co.nz


Issue 115 – April/May 2019

Contents

REGULARS 4

Editorial

Tessa Nicholson

6

From the CEO

Philip Gregan

8

In Brief

News from around the country

10

Calendar

Wine events in New Zealand

46

Women in Wine

Kirsten Searle

64

Bob’s Blog

Bob Campbell MW

76

Not on the Label

Legal Matters with Kensington Swan

FEATURES 12

Sauvignon Blanc International Celebration 2019

A full run down on the events including; how to gain premiumisation, the impact of climate change, why arrogance in wine is so bad, the art of Toitu and much more. Plus a look at the Sparkling and Chardonnay Symposium in Gisborne.

40

Follow the rules or suffer the consequences

Chairman of NZW Board John Clarke reminds us all of our obligation to workers, and the consequences that will follow if we fall short.

58

After 40 years, it’s farewell to Mike Trought

The go to man for so many viticiulturists, Dr Mike Trought has retired after 40 years of advising the wine industry. We looks at some of the highlights of his career.

26

32 24 56

70


E D I TO R Tessa Nicholson tessa.nicholson@me.com

CO R R E SP O N D E NTS Wellington Wine Country: Joelle Thomson mailme@joellethomson.com Hawkes Bay: Olly Styles oliverstyles@hotmail.com Nelson: Neil Hodgson neil@hodgson.net.nz Central Otago: Jean Grierson jean.grierson@nzsouth.co.nz

A DV E R T I S I N G Sales Manager & Upper North Island: Stephen Pollard stephenp@ruralnews.co.nz Ph: 09 913 9637 Mobile: 021 963 166 Central North Island: Ted Darley ted@ruralnews.co.nz Ph: 07 854 6292 Mobile: 021 832 505 Lower North Island: Ron Mackay Ph: 04 234 6239 Mobile: 021 453 914 South Island: Kaye Sutherland kayes@ruralnews.co.nz Ph: 03 376 5552 Mobile: 021 221 1994

C I R C U L AT I O N & SUBSCRIPTIONS Jodi Blair jodi.blair@nzwine.com Ph: 09 303 3527, ext 0 Fax: 09 302 2969 Mobile: 0277 00 2371 New Zealand Winegrowers PO Box 90 276, Auckland Mail Centre, New Zealand

A job well loved THERE ARE so many pleasures of doing the job that I do. One is that I get to talk to a wide range of people, from different walks of life, all so enthusiastic about the role they play in the wine industry. People like Dr Mike Trought, who earlier this year retired after spending 40 years working within this industry. He arrived in New Zealand just five years after the first Montana plantings in Marlborough. And like Montana, he has played a significant role in the development and success of New Zealand wine. Then there’s Kirsten Searle, who is our Women in Wine feature this issue. From a banking role in the UK to owning an historic piece of Gisborne history, Kirsten has made a lasting impression. Or Patrick Materman, who for the past 29 years has worked for the same company, albeit the name has changed. Initially for Montana as a cellar-hand, Patrick now takes on the role of Global Winemaker for Pernod Ricard. Quite an honour, and one that will see him at the forefront of winemaking in countries like India. You may be surprised to hear his thoughts on the wines being produced already. But the greatest pleasure this issue is to report on Sauvignon 2019. Held over three days, it was a cornucopia of information. And without being too back slappy (if there is such a phrase) it did reiterate just how significant the development of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is on a world scale. The event brought together people from all over the world, to listen or inform, to taste and discuss, to meet and catch up, and to fall in love with our flagship wine all over again. Being a part of something like Sauvignon 2019 is a privilege. Just one of the reasons I love this job so much.

PUBLISHING & P R E - P R E SS Rural News Group PO Box 331100, Takapuna, Auckland 0740 Ph: 09 307 0399 Location: Top Floor, 29 Northcroft Street, Takapuna, Auckland 0622

Tessa Nicholson

EDITOR

Publisher: Brian Hight Managing Editor: Adam Fricker Production: Dave Ferguson, Rebecca Williams

Published by Rural News Group Ltd under authority of New Zealand Winegrowers Inc. Unless directly attributed, opinions expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of Rural News Group and/or its directors or management, New Zealand Winegrowers Inc. or its constituent organisations.

CONTRIBUTORS

Published every second month. One free copy is mailed to every member of the New Zealand Winegrowers Inc, the New Zealand Society of Viticulture & Oenology and the New Zealand Vine Improvement Group, and to such other persons or organisations as directed by the owners, with provision for additional copies and other recipients to be on a subscription basis.

ISSN 1174-5223

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NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019

Joelle Thomson

Neil Hodgson

Lee Suckling

Joelle remembers Raymond Chan, a man who was beloved by all.

There have been a few changes in the Nelson wine industry recently, as Neil points out.

Asks the question, can social media influencers help wine?


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From the CEO Philip Gregan

Friday 15 March 2019 is a date that will live long in the memory of New Zealanders.

New Zealand’s Darkest Day A DAY in which people who called New Zealand home were senselessly and brutally gunned down in their place of peace and worship. It was a day we never thought would happen in our country. We were naïve, but who dreamed there could be such hatred, such intolerance residing amongst us. How could anyone possibly do this? There has been shock, bewilderment, profound sadness, anger. But most of all there is a determination that this must never happen again. We all with have our part to play in making that pledge a reality. In our industry we need to ensure that we are tolerant of the views of others. We need to ensure everyone is treated with respect, treated like we would like to be treated ourselves. We

need to encourage and celebrate the success of all our people. Over the past two years New Zealand Winegrowers has expanded our activities to support the people in

our industry. We have long supported the Young Viticulturist of the Year, we are now supporting the Young Winemaker of the Year. In 2017 we launched Women in Wine which is continuing to grow its activities including its mentoring programme. In 2018 we supported the launch of the Marlborough School of Wine and are supporting it again this year. And recently we have launched our Diversity Survey. Over 700 industry members participated in the Survey which was a great outcome. The results will be released to the industry shortly. Those results reveal there are some work-ons we need to address. So let us all resolve to do our bit in our communities to make sure we never have another March 15 again. Kia Kaha

NZW BOARD RESPONDS OURS IS an industry that cares deeply about its people, and New Zealand is home to workers and their families who have come here from many parts of the globe, and who are an integral part of our winegrowing community at all levels. The success of New

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Zealand’s wine industry depends strongly on the commitment and passion of the employees behind it. We need to ensure that we respect the views and beliefs of others, and encourage and celebrate the success of all our people. To help make this a

reality, New Zealand Winegrowers has decided to place $30,000 into a newly created Communities Fund, which it will use to promote and support cross-cultural understanding and relationships within our winegrowing communities.


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News Brief

  INT ERN ATI ON AL  Isaac Giesen

Giesen family celebrates son’s record-setting Transatlantic journey NAUTICAL HISTORY was made by Isaac Giesen, son of Giesen Wines co-owner Theo who became the first Kiwi to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean during the 2018 Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge – all in support of a cause close to many New Zealanders’ hearts. 

Isaac completed his solo row of more than 3,000 nautical miles across the Atlantic by enduring 70 days, 19 hours and 37 mins at sea. He set off from the Canary Islands in December and touched down in Antigua overnight on Thursday, 21 February.   Under the name The Blue

  DOMEST I C 

Rower, Isaac raised NZ $50,000 in support of three New Zealand and Australian

charities dedicated to treating and raising awareness of depression.

 M A R LB OR OU G H 

NEW NAME, SAME GOALS THE NEW ZEALAND Winegrowers Research Centre Ltd will now be operating under the name Bragato Research Institute, (BRI). Building on the legacy of Romeo Bragato, the plan is to honour his work through world-leading research and innovation to support the continuing success of the wine industry.

FIRST PLATINUM SPONSOR FOR WOMEN IN WINE CONSTELLATION HAS contributed $20,000 to the Women in Wine initiative, making them the first wine company to achieve the platinum sponsor status. The New Zealand Winegrower’s initiative was launched in 2017, and has since set up regional hubs in all the major winegrowing regions A mentoring programme began last year, and the second wave began in February, with 11 mentors working alongside 11 mentees. Constellation says they support the initiative; “because diversity of thought brings creative solutions and it can only strengthen the industry”.

SCHOLARSHIP AWARDED ZEPHYRS AND DAFFODILS THE DEVELOPMENT manager for the Bragato Research Institute, Tracy Benge,  has been chosen as a recipient of the 2018/19 Agricultural and Marketing Research and Development Trust (AGMARDT) Leadership Scholarship. Benge will use the $15,000 scholarship to develop her leadership and governance skills as she undertakes a number of firsts for the New Zealand wine industry. These include delivering a programme that looks at adaptation to climate change in New Zealand viticulture and establishing a new research winery in Marlborough.

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NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019

IT MAY not seem like a match made in heaven, but for Marlborough wine label Zephyr, the chance to pour the wine at the premier of the movie Daffodils seemed very like it. The movie, unbeknownst originally to Zephyr winemaker Ben Glover, stars a 1965 Zephyr mark III. Given the Glovers own exactly the same vehicle, even in the same light green colour meant there “was no backing out”, Ben says. So not only did he approach the film makers about pouring their wines at the premiere, he also delivered members of the cast and crew to the red carpet, on Valentine’s Day.


M ARLBOROUGH 

Wrong Year

LARGEST PROMOTION EVER IT IS a special year for Wither Hills in Marlborough, with 2019 the year the company celebrates being 25-years-old. As part of the celebrations, the company is offering its largest ever promotion, that will see 50 double invites to the silver anniversary celebrations in May. The prizes are available across retail and on premise, providing the winners with flights, accommodation and entry to the one-night only

event at the winery. The lucky winners will get the chance to taste wines that go back to the early days, when Wither Hills first opened. Dave Campbell, Marketing Manager says “we’ll be lifting the lid on a large

chunk of our cellar for the first time, as well as giving the winners a taste of some of the new wines under our Cellar Collection label that are only available via our Cellar Door in Marlborough.

IN THE last issue of NZWinegrower it was mentioned that New Zealand wine was celebrating 200 years since the first vines were planted in this part of the world. In the story it was mentioned the first vines were planted in 1818 by Samuel Marsden. It should have read 1819 – with this year being the 200th anniversary. Apologies for the mistake.

 CENT RAL OTAGO 

PROPOSED CELLAR DOOR, AN ARCHITECTURAL STATEMENT WINE COMPANY Te Kano has released plans of their cellar door, which is currently being built. Described as a major architectural statement, the

cellar door is located in the company’s Eliza vineyard on Felton Road. Cantilevered over the Kauwerau river, visitors will have an uninterrupted view of

the surrounding countryside, including the vineyard and mountain ranges. With the

building due to be finished in June, Te Kano plans to open the new cellar door in September.

BOARD APPOINTS DIRECTORS

Foley Family buy Mt Difficulty THE OVERSEAS Investment Office has granted approval for USbased Foley Family Wines to purchase the renowned Central Otago wine estate Mt Difficulty. At a cost of $52 million, Foley Family Wines has bought close to 70ha of freehold land, 110ha of leasehold land at the Bannockburn vineyard, winemaking facilities and the cellar door and restaurant. They will continue with plans already underway, to expand the restaurant and cellar door. There are two labels in the Mt Difficulty portfolio, Mt Difficulty itself and Roaring Meg. This is the first Central Otago purchase for Foley Family Wines. They already have interests in Martinborough and Marlborough.

RACHEL TAULELEI and John Ballingall are the NZW Board appointed Directors for the next two years. The appointment follows a process which considered the needs of the industry and the Board over the next period, particularly in terms of implementation of the 2018 Strategic Review outcomes. Rachel, from Kono Beverages, will be well known to many industry members as she has already been on the Board over the past two years, and previously served on the Pinot Noir organising committee.  John Ballingall, who lives in Wellington, will not be as well known to growers and wineries although he has spoken at the Bragato Conference and other events over the years. John is currently a partner at economic consultancy Sense Partners, is the former Deputy CEO of NZIER, and has worked with NZW on industry economic impact assessments and other projects over the past decade.  This is the first time a Director from outside the industry has been appointed to the Board.  John replaces Katherine Jacobs of Big Sky Wines on the NZW Board.

NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019  //   9


Upcoming Events TO HAVE

April – November The Drinks Business Masters Closing date 17 April Global Rosé Masters 2019 Closing date 25 April Global Cabernet Sauvignon Masters 2019 Further details; sophie@thedrinksbusiness.com

Sauv the date!

EVENTS ADDED TO OUR CALENDAR CONTACT TESSA NICHOLSON TESSA.NICHOLSON@ME.COM

Organic & Biodynamic Winegrowing Conference

#sauvblanc day 3 May Friday 3 May 2019 is International Sauvignon Blanc Day. New Zealand Winegrowers will be releasing a social media toolkit to help members make the most of #sauvblanc day. So start getting your campaigns, events and #sauvblanc day preparations underway! nzwine.com

Bayer Young Viticulturist of the Year Competition 7 June – August Auckland/Northland, Friday 7 June Hawke’s Bay, Thursday 13 June Wairarapa, Thursday 20 June Marlborough, Thursday 4 July South Island Regional, North Canterbury, Friday 12 July Central Otago, Thursday 18 July National finals will be held in Hawke’s Bay week commencing 26 August youngvit@nzwine.com

Organic & Biodynamic Winegrowing Conference 25 - 27 June A celebration of organic and biodynamic viticulture and winemaking. The three day event will feature a wide range of speakers and some special evening events. ASB Theatre, Marlborough. organicwinenz.com

Bragato 2019 28-29 August This years’ Bragato conference with the theme of, Challenge–Think-Do, will be held in Hawke’s Bay, Wednesday 28 and Thursday 29 August 2019. bragato.org.nz

New Zealand Wine of the Year™ 2019 October Judging will take place in Auckland from 14-17 October. Entries will open in August. nzwine.com

NZW Grape Days June Friday 14 June – The Moorings – Cromwell Monday 17 June – Napier Conference Centre Wednesday 19 June – ASB Theatre, Blenheim

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NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019

New Zealand Wine Awards Dinner 2019 16 November The biggest night of the New Zealand wine calendar will take place in Blenheim, on Saturday 16 November. nzwine.com


Global Events

New Zealand Wine Global Events Programme 2019

To view a digital version of this programme, please visit www.nzwine.com/members/sell/events-programme/

The New Zealand Winegrowers Global Events Programme outlines the user-pays global events activities planned for 2019.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE A HARD COPY VERSION, OR WISH TO SPEAK TO ONE OF THE TEAM, PLEASE CONTACT ANGELA WILLIS GLOBAL EVENTS MANAGER +64 9 306 5642 ANGELA@NZWINE.COM

Canada 2 – 9 May 2019 Pure Discovery - Canada, New Zealand Wine Tour – Vancouver, Ottawa and Toronto 21 – 24 May 2019 Top Drop Calgary and Vancouver – New Zealand Wine Bar

UK 13 - 19 May 2019 London Wine Week - New Zealand Wine Pop Up Series

20 – 22 May 2019 London Wine Fair - New Zealand Wine Bar

Asia 27 – 31 May 2019 Pure Discovery - China, New Zealand Wine Tour – Shenzhen, Beijing and Shanghai 3 June 2019 Japan New Zealand Wine Fair - Tokyo

Canada and USA 18 – 26 September 2019 New Zealand. Naturally. - North America, New Zealand Wine Tour – San Francisco, Toronto, New York City Registration deadline – 30 April 2019

Please contact the New Zealand Winegrowers Global Events Team on events@nzwine.com or (09) 306 5643 to enquire about last minute registrations for these events.

NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019  //   11


Sauvignon 2019

A celebration success


It was the biggest New Zealand Winegrowers event of the past two years, and Sauvignon 19 lived up to all the hype. ATTRACTING 350 individuals, one third of those from overseas, the event was a celebration of success. Not only in terms of the event itself, but a celebration of

the success that New Zealand has achieved with this one variety. Basking in temperatures that reached up to 36 degrees on one

day, the visitors were exposed to the best Marlborough has to offer in terms of venues, hospitality and wine. Not too much time was spent on where New Zealand has come from – although Matt Kramer did offer this perspective – “no one anywhere has ever achieved what you have achieved here” – instead

the focus was on the future. Where to from here, what are the issues that New Zealand has to concentrate on to continue that upward trajectory, and just what is standing in our way? For the internationals, many who had arrived from a freezing northern hemisphere winter, the chance to enjoy some warmth, sunshine and great wine was a

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NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019  //   13


boon. It is hard to believe any one of them would be leaving our shores without an extremely positive impression of what this little country at the bottom of the world has to offer. During the three days in

Marlborough they were steeped in the uniqueness of Sauvignon Blanc this country has to offer. From single vineyard, to sub regional, from classical to alternative styles, there was no denying many had their eyes

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14   // 

NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019

opened to what was possible with this variety. Before they had a chance to take a breath, they were transported by plane over some of the country’s other wine regions. During the

Wine Flight they were treated to wine and food matching. Given the superlatives that were resounding around the cabin, this tantalizing taste of New Zealand overall, was a huge winner. Arriving in Gisborne for the Chardonnay and Sparkling Symposium, the journey was well from over. For the first time ever, a New Zealand wine tasting occurred on a Marae, and the welcome the international guests received was even warmer than the high 20’s temperature. While it may appear our wine industry has taken the world by storm overnight – something that celebrates it and includes 100 international influencers, doesn’t. It was a seamless week of education and promotion. And out of that week came some fascinating insights – which we will look at closely over the next few pages.


It was the biggest New Zealand Winegrowers event of the past two years, and Sauvignon 19 lived up to all the hype. ATTRACTING 350 individuals, one third of those from overseas, the event was a celebration of success. Not only in terms of the event itself, but a celebration of

the success that New Zealand has achieved with this one variety. Basking in temperatures that reached up to 36 degrees on one

day, the visitors were exposed to the best Marlborough has to offer in terms of venues, hospitality and wine. Not too much time was spent on where New Zealand has come from – although Matt Kramer did offer this perspective – “no one anywhere has ever achieved what you have achieved here” – instead

the focus was on the future. Where to from here, what are the issues that New Zealand has to concentrate on to continue that upward trajectory, and just what is standing in our way? For the internationals, many who had arrived from a freezing northern hemisphere winter, the chance to enjoy some warmth, sunshine and great wine was a

SUPPORTING THE NEW ZEALAND WINE INDUSTRY WITH INNOVATIVE, WORLD CLASS LABEL SOLUTIONS. NOW PRINTING IN NEW ZEALAND. Let us help you create an augmented reality experience for your brand. Call us to learn how we can add value to your next label requirement. Tony Delia 021 364 132 / Craig Cuff 021 242 4016 40 Vestey Drive, Mt Wellington, Auckland, New Zealand 1060 E: info.nz@mcclabel.com / P: 09 573 1690 www.mcclabel.co.nz

NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019  //   13


boon. It is hard to believe any one of them would be leaving our shores without an extremely positive impression of what this little country at the bottom of the world has to offer. During the three days in

Marlborough they were steeped in the uniqueness of Sauvignon Blanc this country has to offer. From single vineyard, to sub regional, from classical to alternative styles, there was no denying many had their eyes

opened to what was possible with this variety. Before they had a chance to take a breath, they were transported by plane over some of the country’s other wine regions. During the

Wine Flight they were treated to wine and food matching. Given the superlatives that were resounding around the cabin, this tantalizing taste of New Zealand overall, was a huge winner. Arriving in Gisborne for the Chardonnay and Sparkling Symposium, the journey was well from over. For the first time ever, a New Zealand wine tasting occurred on a Marae, and the welcome the international guests received was even warmer than the high 20’s temperature. While it may appear our wine industry has taken the world by storm overnight – something that celebrates it and includes 100 international influencers, doesn’t. It was a seamless week of education and promotion. And out of that week came some fascinating insights – which we will look at closely over the next few pages.

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Helping grow the country


Sauvignon 2019 @VERONIQUERIVEST

@SAUVIGNONNZ

@SUPERWINEGIRL

Some of our favourite posts We’re toasting the highlights of #sauvignonnz and #nzwine. Discover these posts and more from @nzwinegrowers on Instagram.

@KATYWINE

@TAKEITTOCOURT

@SUPERWINEGIRL

@MELWINEBROWN

@FONGYEEW

@AMYLIEBERFARB

355,550 IMPRESSIONS

viewed content across all our social media channels

@SAINTCLAIRWINE

@VIANNAWINE

@DEBRAMEIBURGMW

8,231

ENGAGEMENTS

These are all the comments, likes or re-tweets of our posts whilst Sauvignon 2019 was on

2,697

@SAUVIGNONNZ

@SAUVIGNONNZ

@CANDICEWINECHAT

USES OF #SAUVIGNONNZ

#sauvignonnz was actively typed into a post on social media

Tag @nzwinegrowers and #nzwine in your wine related images and we will feature some of the best posts in each issue.

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NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019

40,495

LIKES & COMMENTS

Total number of likes and comments on #Sauvignonnz posts


Social media coverage We wanted to highlight the stylistic diversity and regional expression in New Zealand’s Sauvignon Blanc. Our social media goal was to increase engagement and reach a wide audience through our influencer guests. We encouraged lifestyle media to post on Instagram, and Instagram stories – a new format since Sauvignon 2016. The engagement (likes and comments) on the top 10 identified influencers posts in two weeks was 47% higher than the engagement on NZ Winegrowers’ channels for the entire year of 2018. Top 10 social media influencers had a combined global audience of: Twitter: 229,343 Instagram: 59,453 The total number of likes and comments on their #Sauvignonnz posts was: 40,495 In addition to this, each influencer was posting between 3-15 Instagram stories a day, which have a higher open rate than posts, although we can’t access analytics on them. These would have been seen by a high percentage of their followers.

1.

@veroniquerivest Welcome to New Zealand!!

2.

@sauvignonnz Perfect conditions for ‘The Secret Garden’ Party by the sea

3.

@superwinegirl Hanging with QUEENS in NZ

4.

@katywine Great start to the #sauvignonnz celebration last night for #teamnautilus!

5.

@takeittocourt Caption this album cover photo with our new band name.

6.

@fongyeew The colours of Marlborough! Just arrived at #lawsondryhills for a tasting of Sauvignon on the funky side....

7.

@superwinegirl Today I’m tasting aged Sauvignon Blanc from NZ, chilled in a vintage bathtub!

8.

@melwinebrown Marlborough you are truly one in a million. Thanks for solidifying everything I know about your outstanding region and enhancing my perspective of your incredible culture with integrity and class.

9.

@amylieberfarb Don’t listen to what they say. Go see for yourself. New Zealand. We should all travel more, especially to destinations like this. To top it off, there are some amazing wines created here, so... the only question that remains is... What are you waiting for?!?

10. @saintclairwine What a morning at New Renwick Road 11. @viannawine Day one of the international @sauvignonnz has got off to a great start! The ‘who’s who’ of the wine world are all here #sauvignonnz #nzwine #newzeland 12. @debrameiburgmw New Zealand is all about friendly faces and outdoor spaces. Lovely to see this gorgeous, friendly face from home of course. 13. @sauvignonnz International Sauvignon Blanc tasting at Sauvignon NZ 2019 14. @sauvignonnz PLACE! 15. @candicewinechat Sommit crew at the Blanc Gala.

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NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019  //   17


Sauvignon 2019

The path to premiumisation The first two speakers at Sauvignon 19 both agreed that premiumisation of Sauvignon Blanc was the way forward. But Matt Kramer and Sam Harrop MW outlined very different pathways, as Tessa Nicholson reports. FOR WINE Spectator’s Matt Kramer the answer may lie in Marlborough following the Champagne model, of blending different sites. For Sam Harrop however, wines of site may well be the way forward if we want to change the image of Sauvignon Blanc as being “a one trick pony”. Let’s start with Kramer’s opinion. Firstly, he decried the lack of culture surrounding Sauvignon Blanc as a wine variety and claimed that in itself was one of the reasons Sauvignon was not commanding a premium in world markets Kramer said other varieties, such as Pinot Noir, Riesling, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon have a culture that has been passed down through history. “We know where it comes from and where it exists. But there is no culture for Sauvignon Blanc. Only when a culture of Sauvignon Blanc emerges will you then be able to get a premium.” Admitting that the cultures of other varieties tend to rest on the laurels of site specificity, Kramer said he had seen a similar focus while in Marlborough. “These days you hear about Burgundian site specificity, the Burgundian vision of the beauty of wine. I am seeing the same Burgundian vision here

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Matt Kramer

in Marlborough. But is it really the right one? “Should the concept of Sauvignon Blanc be better served by a Champagne model? In Champagne they blend.” Relaying how many Champagne houses utilise the fruit from dozens of sites to ensure certain traits are enhanced, he said it allows them to make the best of wine. “They know what each vineyard can and cannot do and they create the most complete (wine).” While extolling just how young New Zealand is in terms

NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019

of the wine world – “you only started last week”, he said by the time we were two or three weeks old, we would be in the same situation Champagne is in now. We would have identified all the various vineyards and their individual distinctions. We would know what each vineyard provides in terms of the overall wine. “Then say, just maybe, it is not the safer Burgundian model, the answer may be the blend. And that in turn may be the vehicle that a culture of Sauvignon Blanc can be created here.” Once that culture is estab-

lished, he believes “everyone will be singing from the same hymn book, on both sides of the church aisle.” Sam Harrop however had other ideas of how to achieve premiumisation. He believed having a sense of place is what helps define a great wine. “There are two categories of wine that can express a sense of place; wines of site and wines of style.” In terms of wines of site, Harrop said there were a number of facets that were required. The mix between plant and rootstock, vine age, crop load


Sam Harrop MW

– which he added a warning to Marlborough growers; “It must be managed accordingly. A balanced crop load is vital to expressing the site.” And one vital thing he added; “Something that we often lose sight of with Sauvignon – great wines of site reveal more of their sense of place with time in the bottle.” When it comes to wines of style, Harrop said this was a very important category for Sauvignon producers, especially in Marlborough. He described wines of style as usually blends of vineyards, sub regions or even regions. “The goal being consistently reproduced in the same style, year on year. The customer loves them. Wines of style are usually market led and commercially priced. This requires winegrowers and winemaking strategies that maximise bang for buck. But they aren’t necessarily aligned with maximising site expression.” Heading into the future, the role for Sauvignon producers the world over is to “embrace the idea of Sauvignon as a chameleon.” That Harrop said, means showing the world that Sauvignon is not just a “homogenised style with a generic sense of place. At some point consumers need and want to see evolution.” He believed that Marlborough, which has already established a global reputation

is perfectly positioned to do just that. He used Rioja as an example of how Marlborough could achieve that. “It is a region like Marlborough that has built its success on an entry level, commercial price point product that is generic in style – and I don’t mean that in a negative sense. One of the reasons Rioja has succeeded is the same reason as Marlborough. It’s a style that the market can understand.” With that achievement already under the belt, Harrop said Rioja has looked to wines of site as the natural step forward towards premiumisation. They are now actively seeking out the best vineyards, by age, altitude or certain soil types, with the aim of making small vineyard lots. “They understand that that sense of place can be achieved through wines of style and wines of site. “They have already got the wines of style in the bag and have had for many decades. They have taken the consumers on a journey and now to trade those consumers up to the higher price points, to the more sympathetic wines with more fruit expression, more balance, more harmony, they are exploring special sites and releasing very special wines that are very different from the norm. “That is what Marlborough has to do.”

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NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019  //   19


Sauvignon 2019

Quotes to music Just what song epitomizes Sauvignon Blanc to you and why? That was the question Melanie Brown put to a number of writers and commentators both here in New Zealand and around the world, prior to Savuignon 19. Below is the response she got. CAMERON DOUGLAS MS: Abba’s Voulez Vous “Like Sauvignon Blanc, it hits from the first beat, it is persistent and unforgiving, but after a while it is all okay and the next track might be a bit more complex and meaningful. “ ANDREA FROST: Pink – So What “New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is pure pleasure to the masses, has flown in the face of critic’s opinions, and like Pink who makes her own wine, has winemaking pedigree entwined with mass market appeal.” JAMIE GOODE: ACDC’s – You Shook Me All Night Long. “ACDC were one of the first bands I loved. I think the music – raw, fun and quite like nothing else; matches well with how I see New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. There’s nothing like it, and at its best it’s raw, exotic, surprising and capable of shaking our palates.” MIKE BENNIE: The Stranglers – Golden Brown “The song was allegedly a homage to heroin, but also the focus of a love interest…a fitting parable? Sauvignon Blanc has been the gateway drink for many new drinkers, an addiction for many and a panacea for the New Zealand wine industry particularly.” ROBERT JOSEPH: David Bowie’s Rebel Rebel “Captures the impact and confusion New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc created when it first appeared….stylish and disruptive.” BOB CAMPBELL MW: Crowded House – Weather With You “Like Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, Crowded House is a true kiwi icon. ‘You can fight the sleep but not the dream.’ ‘Things

ain’t cooking in my kitchen.’ ‘Strange affliction wash over me.’ Makes me wonder whether Neil and Tim Finn might had had a glass or two before they wrote those words.” JANE PARKINSON: Beatles - Come Together “This very innocently titled track epitomises New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc for me because of its crowd-pleasing, lip smacking juiciness making it the perfect wine for the coming together of people.” MADELEINE STRENWRETH MW: Pharrel Williams – Happy “New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is flirty, exuberant and the happiest face at the party. However, it becomes sad when others don’t understand that beyond the glossy surface lies a wealth of style, diversity, honesty and sincerity.” NICK STOCK: Hayden James – Just Friends “Fresh, catchy and melodic. The lyrical sentiments are about just going with feelings, not over-thinking and just being in the moment. Producers and consumers are free to revel in its simple attractiveness.” MELANIE BROWN: Aretha Franklin – Respect “The evolution of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc has captivated the world since day one. Respect should be applied not only to the varietal but the wide range of producers that have ensured its position and perception is retained across the globe. We are starting to see it’s success become infinite; enamoring occasions with sass appeal, personality and quality. Respect.”

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NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019


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Sauvignon 2019

Climate change and Sauvignon Blanc As temperatures soared into the mid 30s during Sauvignon 19, the thoughts of nearly everyone attending swung towards climate change. Steve Smith MW addressed the issue and its potential impact on Sauvignon Blanc in the future. He also came up with a number of proposals that should be considered as soon as possible, as Tessa Nicholson reports. “THERE IS no other place in the world that is long and skinny, situated in the sweet latitudes for agricultural production, that is over 1000 miles away from its nearest big island or continental neighbour, surrounded by a temperate ocean and has beautiful fertile soils,” Steve Smith said. T h i s “ n i r v a n a” l i k e environment has provided all that is needed to make wines the world has fallen in love with. But will we still be able to do that in 2050? Climate change is likely to bring Marlborough more summer heat waves, drier springs, more rain in February and April, and more humidity which will all impact on wine style. “ The risk here for Marlb oroug h Sauvig non Blanc is the vines get water

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stressed and hot at a time in January, February and March that causes real damage to the delicate aroma flavour and acid compounds that define our wine styles,” Smith said. “My experience is stressing Sauvignon Blanc during that period is almost the worst thing you can do if you want to make the wine styles we want to make.” Action needs to be taken now, to ensure we are ready to deal with the issues that we are going to be facing in a few short decades. “There is only one thing that the leadership of our industry should be focused on and that is investing in research to minimize the risk of climate change,” Smith said. He had a number of ideas on just what types of research should be undertaken.

NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019

INVEST IN WATER SUPPLY “We cannot survive without irrigation and we need to invest in identifying and building a regional solution to securing fit for purpose, sustainable water resources for Marlborough vineyards. “By 2050 our river takes and many bores takes will not be fit for purpose when we need water, as we will not have the social license for extraction and use of that water. We need to harvest plentiful water at a time when we can get it but it isn’t needed in the daily environs where the rain falls, and then reticulate it to our vineyards for a time when we need it. This may seem like an overly ambitious and expensive project, but when you have more than five billion invested in the vineyards of Marlborough, it proves prudent and necessary.”

ROOTSTOCK “We need to go back and look out rootstock research that we may have thrown out. There is a long vegetative cycle in terms of vigour. Rootstocks are now much better vigour, drought resistant and potentially have better retention of acidity and flavour compounds in a warmer, more stressful world.” UNDERSTAND AND PRESERVE SAUVIGNON BLANC HERITAGE “In a clonal sense, there has almost been no proper climate change scenario of the relationship of clone material present in New Zealand, or globally and New Zealand’s Sauvignon Blanc system is largely based on one selection. New Zealand needs to become a reservoir of Sauvignon genetic material and this needs to be evaluated under the climate


change scenario elements to see how they respond in terms of flavour compounds, wine quality and style level. This is long term, continuing, evolving science that is critical for our future.”

EMBRACE GENETICS “We need to use the acceptable genetic science tools we currently have at our disposal to manipulate the genetic makeup of these rootstocks in Sauvignon Blanc clones to elevate traits that we need for

may be just tiny or small volumes, but they have a considerable halo effect and build value to the category. Increasing growth margins while capturing more value helps significantly in providing investment in mitigation to climate change.”

Steve Smith MW

our future. This is long term science, but if we are serious about our future, we have no choice. We have the science in New Zealand to do this and it is not regarded as genetic modification techniques.”

BE WORLD CLASS AT MANAGING BOTRYTIS IN SYNC WITH NATURE “I can see this looming as our greatest single issue on an annual basis. Botrytis in Sauvignon Blanc can seriously compromise the opportunity to make a dry, white wine with purity, clarity, freshness and expression of place – our New Zealand style. Increased rainfall in February after veraison will provide the catalyst of

blossoming botrytis infections later in March and April, especially when combined with the likely increase in warmth, humidity and April rainfall. It is challenging because the ability to actually use chemistry or increased use of synthetics just does not exist in today’s natural world. We need to be smarter in how we use these control agents and other vineyard management techniques to minimize the risk. The current broad acre, high yield commodity like approach to Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc as a culture, will become seriously exposed in a high pressure botrytis and powdery mildew world. I think we have had it too easy and we need to change.”

EARN THE RIGHT FOR HIGHER VALUE FOR EVERY WINE WE PRODUCE “Investors securing increased value from the wine produced will allow them to move away from a proportion of production that is the bulk wine commodity space, where the cost of production is critical and is exposed to climate change risk. This is not just about whacking grape juice in a barrel and fermenting it as wine. It’s about everything from viticulture though winemaking, through packaging and brand building. It is exceptional execution. “This is not marketing or business rocket science. They

SUMMARY “I believe we have seen glimpses of what the 2050 scenario might look like in both the 2017 and 2018 vintages. But I am pretty confident. We are not talking about an immediate Armageddon here. We have a generation to warm to the task. But we do need to realise that something along these lines is going to happen and it is going to increase the risk of being able to do consistently what lots of wine drinkers in the world expect from us. If we truly believe in our potential to be a world wine drinker’s go-to-place for refreshing, aromatic white wines, we had better start on that insight and vision in science now.” “O u r chi ld ren and grandchildren deserve that commitment from us.”

NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019  //   23


Sauvignon 2019

Remove the arrogance from wine TESSA NICHOLSON

M A S T E R OF Wine Tim Hanni didn’t hold back during his session on food and wine pairing. Instead he let rip with a range of statements that had many attending nodding in agreement. Firstly, he took to the stage admitting he was on a crusade to disavow the notion that certain wines are only at their best when paired with certain food. Hanni explained how wine and food matching is not steeped in history – in fact he claimed, it had only become a thing in France around the 1960s. By adhering to the standards that have now become ingrained, he said the individual consumer’s biological senses have been ignored. And the statement that people’s palates mature, so they will grow out of commercial wines or a dislike of certain foods, was pooh poohed. He referred to famous chef, Julia Childs, who had a genetic disposition that made coriander an anathema to her. “I guess she never grew up, her palate never matured,” Hanni joked to make his point. The second point he made, voraciously, was regarding the “arrogance” of certain industry members, who categorise wine in specific ways. “There are people who are arrogant about wine, and there are people who are very proud about being arrogant about wine. That should be no basis for how anybody markets their wine, unless you are arrogant and want only arrogant people to drink your wine.”

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A wow moment. Hold your nose and taste. Without smell, taste is negligible.

What’s more he said this style of marketing and talking about wine is turning consumers off. When consumers hear their wine of choice is considered “commercial” or not “sophisticated”, the harm done will last for years. “I have heard a lot of banter about – ‘oh these are commercial wines, or beginner wines’. People take wine descriptors personally – so don’t do that. Stop it. “They are not commercial wines, they are wines that are made in a larger quantity that are enjoyed by millions of people. What the hell do you think? (Many people) think they don’t like wine because they are told the wines they drink are immature, unsophisticated and for uneducated people. We have no clue the damage we are

NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019

doing by categorising wine. So cut it out.” Well that got people talking amongst themselves. “We need to educate the wine trade and hospitality professionals, and that goes for sommeliers. Quit what we are doing and think about a new pathway. Wine one-oh-one. It is important that you learn how and why other people are different, so when we get to wine education we have a better understand of the market we are serving. “This will literally create millions and millions of consumers who are no longer embarrassed by their taste. They are no longer embarrassed to proclaim that they like Riesling or Moscato or sweet or dry wine.” If you can’t smell, you

can’t taste, was another point Hanni went to great lengths to explain at the session. With tiny containers of different spices, (cinnamon, cumin, all spice and garlic salt), he told all in the room to hold their nose and have a taste of each spice individually – without smelling it first. The response? No one could pick up the distinctive flavours until they released their nose. It was somewhat of a wow moment. His point though was how the sensory cycle of storing and understanding smell and taste is different in every culture. The taste of cinnamon for example, brought up memories of apple crumble, and for some lamb. But as Hanni pointed out, if New Zealand was to utilise that theory in a country like China, it would be disastrous – simply because they don’t


Tim Hanni MW in full flight.

use cinnamon, so there is no sensory or understanding of smell and linkage. So beware the language you utilise to describe your wines. If the smell or taste is unfamiliar or disliked – what damage are you doing to potential consumers? He also had a word of warning to Sauvignon Blanc producers, reminding them that preferences, attitudes in behavior that are a response to stimulus is “the psychology of understanding the markets and segmenting the markets appropriately.” “If you don’t do that, there are going to be so many styles of Sauvignon Blanc, there is going to be so much chatter, so many options, that like Syrah, like Merlot and Riesling, that it just starts to become noise. Then because we can’t communicate with consumers

on their terms, they will begin to drink something else, because they don’t know what the hell is going to come to the table.” His last plea was to celebrate the diversity of consumers out in the world. “Work hard to promote wine without all this baggage and negative association for making people feel stupid. Demonstrate to people how to enjoy their wine and food so that they can have a steak with Sauvignon Blanc. Why not? “If you want to sell more New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, learn to taste the wine and think – who would like this? What market segment? How do I communicate with them? How do I create the context for their enjoyment? Stop pairing wine and food and pay attention to what goes on.” tessa.nicholson@me.com

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Sauvignon 2019

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NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019


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Sauvignon 2019

Sustainability in business TESSA NICHOLSON

THE TER M sustainability comes with a great deal of corporate greenwash, Geoff Thorpe of Riversun says. “I l i k e m a ny p e o p l e was troubled by the word sustainability, so I thought bugger it- we are going to reclaim it, we are going to re define it, and this is what we came up with. “If we can’t be doing the

28   // 

same thing on the same land in the same community, on the same planet in 100 or 1000 years, then it is not sustainable.” Every single process, every single aspect of Riversun was looked at through the eyes of the above statement, with a goal of 2020 set for becoming a truly sustainable business. And the word he chose to encapsulate everything the

NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019

company undertook, was Toitu. “It is a Maori word which means enduring, permanent, eternally sustainable.” Heading towards Toitu, Thorpe says the importance of us all learning to tread more lightly on this earth cannot be underestimated. In his own lifetime, he says the world’s population has tripled. Since the industrial revolution, 80

percent of indigenous forests have been destroyed. “And we are still knocking down 20,000 hectares a day. We lose about 33,000 hectares of land a day to desert.” In terms of oceans, he said we are pulling close to 175 million tonnes of fish from oceans every year, and by 2050, it is predicted there will be a total collapse of fish stocks.


CO2 levels have gone from 275 parts per million before the industrial revolution, to 400 parts per million now. All of these factors highlight the importance he says of acting now, without hesitation. As to what any one person or company can do, Thorpe said Riversun kicked off an organic based programme in 2012 with a vengeance. Firstly, herbicides in the field nurseries were eliminated and he converted their field nursery disease management programme to an organic one. All synthetic fertilisers were next to go, nursery blocks were rested and green cropped every third year, companion planting was added and a compost programme developed. The harder issue was replacing close to 200+ km of black PolyMulch a year with something more sustainable. “B e c au s e of t h e s oi l contamination, it can’t be

recycled. We thought, well clearly we can’t be doing this for the next 100 or 1000 years, so we started experimenting.” Through all these moves, the Toitu of the business also had to be considered. Thorpe listed three of the biggest surprises that have come to the fore. “When we changed to an organic spray programme, we halved our costs and got better control.

Toitu “It is a Maori word which means enduring, permanent, eternally sustainable.” “Initially we replaced nitrogen fertiliser with organic forms, and within two years we found we could reduce it by 50 percent. By next year

we will add no nitrogen fertilsier what-so-ever. “Then there was the carbon footprint. We have just this month achieved CarboNZero certification. Again I knew it was the right thing to do, but I thought it was going to be expensive. We were very pleasantly surprised to find that the cost for us to be in

the CarboNZero programme is 0.1% of our gross revenue. That works out at about half a cent per vine.” Given all the results, both in terms of providing endurance for the next 100 and the next 1000 years, Thorpe says his experience begs the question – what are we all waiting for? tessa.nicholson@me.com

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Sauvignon 2019

Simply put Some of the best quotes to emerge from Sauvignon 2019. “A handful of very important opinion makers in the world of wine, look at Sauvignon Blanc as they would look at a cross bred puppy. Adorable, cute, lively and playful – but lacking true class, nuance and complexity.” Sam Harrop MW

Matt Kramer and Sam Harrop MW.

“If we can’t be doing the same thing on the same land in the same community on the same planet in 100 or 1000 years, then it is not sustainable.” Geoff Thorpe “We know more about the genetics of grape vines than anybody cares to think about in terms of consumers. We don’t know anything about consumers.” Tim Hanni MW “Ask two wine experts at the top of their game to define terroir and you will get four different answers.” Sam Harrop MW “A commodity wine is a race to the bottom. You can’t afford to do that.” Matt Kramer

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NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019


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“There is no other place in the world that is long and skinny, situated in the sweet latitudes for agricultural production, that is over 1000 miles away from its nearest big island or continent, surrounded by a temperate ocean and has beautiful fertile soils.” Steve Smith MW

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“Sauvignon becomes the most remarkable complex, really profound vehicle for the expression of terroir and of the producer. Is that not what a great wine is?” Emma Jenkins MW “64.4 percent of all bottles of New Zealand wines are sold in the UK on promotion. To me that is an alarming figure.” Justin Howard-Sneyd MW “(You) are the most preposterous, unpredictable success story in the history of modern wine, bar none. You’ve caught lightening in the bottle in the last 40 years.” Matt Kramer Justin HowardSneyd MW.

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Symposium

Gisborne turns it on TESSA NICHOLSON

IT WAS a first for New Zealand winegrowers, and an impressive welcome to overseas visitors. The Chardonnay and Sparkling Symposium held in Gisborne after Sauvignon 19, began in style with a tasting at the Whakato Marae. Never before had a tasting been held in such a unique New Zealand environment. Guests were welcomed by the iwi of Rongowhakaata, with Stan Pardoe, presenting the mihi. It came as a surprise to many, including those from New Zealand, that this particular marae has a history that relates significantly to the country’s wine industry, as Pardoe mentioned in his welcome. “This is a special place and a most appropriate venue for this occasion. This marae was the

centre of the first mission station on the East Coast. Reverend W. Williams arrived in 1839, with the teachings of Christianity. He also brought cuttings of fruit trees and grapes. “The grapes were grown just alongside here. “The following year, Catholic missionaries planted grapes at Muriwai thinking they were in Hawke’s Bay.” Those missionary cuttings went on to bear fruit the following year, before the entourage left Gisborne for their original destination of Hawke’s Bay and helped with the establishment of Mission Estate. One of the highlights of the welcome was the hosts on buses who eloquently told the history of Gisborne, both from the Maori and European

Think beyond harvest with

perspective. Guests were taught a waiata while travelling to the marae, which was delivered with enthusiasm more than once during the visit. After the opportunity to sample wines from 22 wineries from around the country, and a sit down dinner, they were treated to a kapa haka performance. Many of the internationals, got the opportunity to have a go at a poi dance and a haka, much to the hilarity of the locals. Day two of the symposium was focused on New Zealand Chardonnays and Sparklings. With panels including some of the biggest names in these two styles, the subjects discussed ranged from clones and their impact on style, yeasts, malolactic fermentation and reduction. Both in reference

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to Chardonnay. There was a break for lunch, which took the guests to Waikanae Surf Club, prior to the Sparkling Master Class. Again, a number of styles were up for interpretation. Rosé, Blanc de Blanc, Blends and new/different styles. The finale for the symposium and for many of the overseas guests, was dinner at the historic Opou Homestead. With temperatures climbing to near 30, there was plenty to cool down those attending, including dozens of crayfish, that disappeared as if a flock of gannets had descended. Gisborne may be much smaller than Marlborough, but when it comes to hosting events such as this Symposium, it punches well above its weight.


Symposium

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Wine Flight 2019

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NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019


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SummitTM 2019

A unique opportunity Eighteen sommeliers from around the world took part in the New Zealand Scholarship known simply as Sommit™ in January this year. They had the opportunity to indulge in the wide range of varietals New Zealand produces, away from the eyes of the media. With our own Stephen Wong MW and UK’s Ronan Sayburn MS as the presenters, much was gained by all participants. Sayburn tells us more about this unique event.

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You were involved in the Sommit™ as a participant in 2016. What did you personally get from the event? As with all trips to New Zealand, a  great overview of the country and current wine scene - but importantly meeting the people, tasting the food, feeling the culture, seeing the  geography and climate and networking with wonderful g r o u p o f i nt e r n at i o n a l sommeliers. Why were you involved this year? Cameron Douglas MS, along with Stephen Wong MW, who normally hosts was unavailable. As I am a great fan of New Zealand and its wines I was asked to step in for Cameron. In your experience, how unique is this event and why? A trip to New Zealand is always special. It’s a small country with a great presence on wine lists all over the world.

Internationally known for great Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc’s and Pinots from Otago but there is so much more of the story to tell. Internationally known for great Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc’s and Pinots from Otago but there is so much more of the story to tell. Great Syrahs and Pinot Gris, sustainability, clean fresh wine from a clean green environment.  Holding the event with no media present - how much does that allow the Sommit™ to delve deeper than in other forums? It’s  a closed room and we have an open forum where we want people to praise or criticise in  equal measure, to ask questions and form opinions based on the global wine scene and what they can see based on tasting a big selection of New

Zealand wines. Do they like Sauvignon Blanc, do they like Chardonnay? Where does it fit in the wine world, commercial or fine dining? Or are unique varieties better to plant in New Zealand - Albarino, St Laurent? We want people to get passionate about what we, the world and our restaurant customers want. Should we serve or educate or lead or all three? It’s a discussion between global sommeliers that should be animated and personal. What were the most interesting take homes that you got from the participants? The wide variety of markets and customer bases that each

candidate work with. From Europe, Asia and the USA, from fine dining to casual dining, all needs are different. Is there anything New Zealand wine producers should be considering, that you picked up during the Sommit™? If you make natural wine - make sure  it’s  not spoiled with aromas that classically are observed as faulty - high volatile acidity,  high  brettanomyces, high oxidation - make balanced wines.  New Zealand wine makers are making some natural wines but the movement is slow. Keep Sauvignon Blanc in a higher bracket of quality - regional  variation within Marlborough, single vineyards, barrel aged wines,   What do you expect the outcome of this to be, for the individuals participating. An experience of a lifetime!

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NZSVO Workshop

How to save billions of litres of water TESSA NICHOLSON

THE LATEST summer has once again highlighted the fragility of relying on river sources for irrigation in Marlborough. In late January the Southern Valleys irrigation Scheme was shut off, and both Class A and B consents on the Waihopai and Wairau Rivers were also closed off. It left grape growers relying on the water for irrigation high and dry, unless they had other forms of water storage to use. Some had to resort to trucking water in to keep their vines alive. With climate change, these periods of intense dry are only going to occur more frequently. Which means growers need to be looking for ways of conserving water, without impacting on the resulting wines.

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So, what if there was a way to cut down the reliance on irrigation, that would not only save you hundreds of thousands of litres of water per hectare a year, but would also lead to earlier ripening, without impacting on yields? Thoughtful Viticulture’s Mark Krasnow has been studying the effects of deficit irrigation in vineyards in Marlborough, Central Otago and Hawke’s Bay. His findings could change the face of irrigation in the years to come. The vast majority of grape growers measure their soil moisture levels via a soil probe, as the move away from calendarbased irrigation becomes the norm. But for Krasnow, he wanted to determine exactly

NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019

how much water the vines needed, rather than base an irrigation programme on soil moisture. “What I am talking about is measuring vine water potential” he told the NZSVO Sauvignon Workshop. “Water potential is a little bit like blood pressure. It basically is a measure of how hard the leaves are having to pull up water to extract that water from the soil. As the soil gets drier, the vine has to work harder to extract that moisture and we can directly measure that using a pressure chamber.” There is some strong reasoning behind measuring the vine rather than the soil, Krasnow said. “If a vine gets too dry and

we have too much tension in the xylem, you can actually have that water column that connects the vine to the soil, break. When that happens the water movement through that particular pipe stops, until the pipe can be refilled. “If that pipe doesn’t refill and if the vine losses a critical number of pipes you start to see leaves drop and eventually you see vines die.” With vineyards in the three major regions, monitoring of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Merlot began. Each vineyard block was divided into two irrigation zones; deficit and control. Both zones were watered “reasonably well during the early season, because we need to build that canopy, build the photosynthetic area and we want to make sure the yields are safe. We don’t want to negatively impact berry size.” For the reds, once the fruit was set and for whites once veraison hit, the irrigation on the deficit zone, was cut back to only being used if the vines showed they needed it. In the 2018 season, three of the six deficit zones, (two Pinot blocks and one Sauvignon Blanc) required no irrigation after veraison, because the vines never fell below that threshold. “Because we are measuring on need, we found that they only needed about half of the water they would normally have received. That is a lot of litres per hectare and if you spread that over the entire area where we are growing Sauvignon Blanc in Marlborough, the savings are


quite staggering.” As for the impact of deficit irrigation on Sauvignon Blanc fruit – Krasnow says the results were heartening and surprising. “I expected to see a little more ripeness in the vines that got irrigated less, but what we saw in every single vineyard, every single sampling data, was the deficit fruit was riper than the control.” That he says is simply because only irrigating when the vine required it meant the vine was putting its energy (sugar) into the fruit, rather than growing laterals. When looking at rot severity, one of the deficit zones in one vineyard had more botrytis than the control –due to being riper when the rain arrived. “Riper fruit is far more susceptible to botrytis.” But the other vineyards saw no differences in rot severity. Plus there was very little difference in yields in any of

the vineyards. Chemical analysis also showed no consistent differences in thiols between control and deficit, while wine quality when blind tasted by a panel of experts, also showed no significant difference. The differences instead were the savings on water. Just how much water? Krasnow says across the Marlborough sites, water savings ranged b etween 137,000 litres per hectare to 660,000 litres. Taking a midrange number of savings of say 400,000 litres per hectare, and given Marlborough has close to 27,000 hectares of vines – those savings become more than 10 billion litres of water, every year. Now that does add up for the future. 2019 is the second year in a three-year research trial, funded by New Zealand Winegrowers and the Bragato Trust. tessa.nicholson@me.com

One of the Sauvignon Blanc vineyards in the deficit trial, shows the difference in canopy and undervine weed growth. Deficit irrigation vines are on the left, control vines on the right.

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From the Board

Follow the rules, or suffer consequences THE GOVER NMENT has made ‘fairer’ working conditions a priority, including a focus on exploitation of workers. We recognise that the treatment of workers is also of importance to our members. New Zealand Winegrowers has developed tools and guidance to help members understand and meet their obligations, as well as those who may be working on their behalf to provide labour. We are actively considering how we can respond to support the industry in an increasingly tight labour market so that we remain an industry of choice and can be an exemplar of good practice in the primary sector. In addition, New Zealand Winegrowers is firmly focused on building the reputation of the

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wine industry as the industry of choice to work and build a career in. We have begun work on a Workforce Action Plan to help identify how the industry can best attract, retain and develop our workers. We expect to have more information to share with members in the coming months. When exploitation occurs and touches our industry, we must take action to ensure that our members know this is not acceptable and what they can do to stop it occurring again. The below message from our Chair, John Clarke, was a timely reminder of our obligations after the recent breaches in Marlborough.   In January we learned that

NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019

another viticultural labour contractor has been convicted for breaching minimum employment standards. Although it was not a grower or winery, headlines l i ke Mar l b orou g h w i n e business fined $120k for exploiting vulnerable migrant workers  reflect badly on the whole of our industry. As a grower, and as Chair of New Zealand Winegrowers, I believe we need to own this problem and make sure our colleagues are owning it too. My key message at last year’s Bragato Conference was that in our businesses we all need to follow the rules, or consequences will follow. If breaches of minimum employment obligations keep

occurring in our sector we risk losing public and government support. That will hurt us all. The vast majority in our sector follow the rules. But irresponsible contractors would not threaten our industry’s reputation if every winegrower actively checked that their contractors are complying with the basics of employment law. Similarly, if we think that one of our neighbours has engaged a dodgy contractor, we should have a quiet word with them and encourage them to check. The simplest way to vet your contractors is to engage one that is already formally accredited and audited in some reliable way, for example: • with current status as a Recognised Seasonal Employer


under the RSE Scheme, • with current membership as a Master Contractor, or • with a current certification to NZ GAP/Global GAP and GRASP. But even if your contractor does not have a certification, it is not hard for you to check yourself. I make a point of doing this with all my contractors. Below, I’ve included an example of how to quickly check that your contractor is following the rules. If your contractor can’t, or won’t provide you with evidence that they are meeting the minimum legal standards, then that’s a definite red flag. You are likely exposing yourself and the whole industry to risk. New Zealand Winegrowers provides detailed guidance about employment requirements and engaging contractors in our Working for You  guide (available on the member website). More information about employment obligations is also available on the MBIE website. And the NZW Advocacy team are always available to answer your specific questions. So if you have a concern or are uncertain about an employment issue don’t be afraid to call them. Let’s all do what we can to ensure the wine industry remains an industry of choice for workers. How to spot-check that a contractor is meeting minimum employment obligations Pick a random group of your contractor’s workers and require your contractor to show you evidence that they each meet these minimum legal

requirements: Written contract: Each worker has signed a written employment contract. If they are a seasonal worker, this should normally be a fixed-term contract, not a casual contract. • Don’t be fobbed off by claims of privacy issues: you are not asking to read the contract. • All you need to see is that there is a written contract, and that it has been signed by the worker. Entitled to work: Each worker is entitled to work in New Zealand for the duration of their contract. Proper records: Their time/ piece work, wage, and holiday records are being systematically kept. • Ask the workers themselves if they agree the records are accurate, or if they have any concerns. Mi n i mu m p ay: T h e y e a ch a lw ay s re c e ive at least the  minimum hourly wage (including those on piece rates), and are getting holiday pay for working on public holidays. Paid breaks: They are given paid rest breaks and, if on piece rates, that these are paid at least at their minimum pay rate. If your contractor resists, you can assure them that these spot checks are now the standard, expected industry practice in the New Zealand wine industry. More detail on all of these requirements can be found in the NZW  Working for You  guide to employment requirements and engaging contractors,  available on the member website. • For more on this issue, see Legal Matters, page 76

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PwC Review

Sustainability and New Zealand Wine In part two of a series breaking down the six questions answered by the PwC Strategic Review, Tessa Nicholson looks at the question of Sustainability and its place within the New Zealand wine industry. THERE IS no question that sustainability is a drawcard for consumers the world over, but as the PwC report points out, that drawcard is going to become even greater in the years ahead. But how do members of the New Zealand wine industry view sustainability and in particular Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand (SWNZ)? That was a major question asked by the PwC strategic review. Overall, the report says me mb e rs re c o g nis e t he importance of sustainability within their own companies and appreciate the importance of programmes such as SWNZ to consumers. But when it comes to SWNZ itself, the “value” of it, the impact on businesses and the outward communication of the programme, NZW members are not so complimentary. In terms of services offered by NZW, SWNZ comes in as having the lowest satisfaction

But perhaps the biggest suggestion from PwC is that SWNZ should be levy funded. At this stage no decision has yet been made by NZW on this recommendation as this will need to be considered alongside all the priorities falling out of the review. levels. “Across all membership types, roughly one third of members are unsure if SWNZ certification adds value or not,” the report says. It highlights an earlier survey undertaken by NZW that highlighted how many members believed the benefits of the programme are almost gone. “The majority of people achieve certification anyway, with no incentive or reward for member outperformance. “The NZW survey also finds 40 – 50 percent of member

respondents do not believe SWNZ leads to a protected environment or wine premiums and the time spent completing SWNZ does not guarantee enough member specific benefits.” Growers feel much more strongly about this than wineries. These are some of the most salient point within the PwC report. Time spent filling out SWNZ forms and the cost of SWNZ membership. While costs vary depending on size, the PwC report says

the smallest vineyard would be paying $375 plus GST per annum. As for how SWNZ accreditation is viewed in the world market, it is a lot more positive. The report says the programme has boosted the New Zealand wine industry’s reputation, particularly as it is a one-stop programme, providing consistency in messaging. But many members feel there is “no overarching sustainability communication strategy, which inhibits effective marketing messaging.” S W N Z C I ( c ont i nu a l improvement) was instigated back in 2017 and allows wineries and growers to set their own goals above and beyond the initial SWNZ message. This is allowing greater differentiation and raising the bar, the PwC report says. But the weakness it says, is that there are limited resources from NZW to the CI programme, which has

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NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019

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resulted in two outcomes; limited up-take by members, and therefore low feedback on the pilot programme which is hampering the development from pilot to full launch. The message from the report is that a new sustainability strategy is needed with a relaunch of SWNZ to members. The new sustainability strategy should have an initial priority of focusing on pests and disease, waste, people, water and climate change in the next two to three years. After these sustainable goals have been achieved, SWNZ CI can move onto other pillars. “The strategy will allow focused effort in areas where greatest value can be realised.” It also suggested that SWNZ and SWNZ CI should be streamlined, and as CI improvements are proven, they should then be incorporated into SWNZ, which will ensure the sustainability

bar is continually lifted in a meaningful way, placing as little burden on members as possible. But perhaps the biggest suggestion from PwC is that SWNZ should be levy funded. At this stage no decision has yet been made by NZW on this recommendation as this will need to be considered alongside all the priorities falling out of the review. Simplification is key to the future of SWNZ the report says. Members have regularly opposed the cumbersomeness

of filling out SWNZ forms, the number of unnecessary questions, the duplication of questions that are already monitored by other agencies and the time it takes to fill out compliance forms. “By removing unnecessary SWNZ questions, the existing SWNZ programme can dive deeper into issues that are not covered already by other regulatory agencies. This will help to drive industry change in a more targeted way.” As a conclusion, the report

says the fundamentals of SWNZ including its coverage of nine sustainability pillars, and the fact that it is based on internationally reputable standards, remain sound. Balancing these fundamentals with the need for simplification and focus will ensure the New Zealand wine industry upholds its high international sustainability reputation.” The full PwC report on Sustainability can be viewed on the nzwine.com website, in the members section.

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Industry Benchmarking

2018 brings profit to all levels of industry TESSA NICHOLSON

THE DATA revealed in the latest Deloitte, ANZ and New Zealand Winegrowing industry benchmarking survey shows 2018 was a pretty good year for all tiers within the wine industry. It is only the third time in the 12-year history of the survey, that all categories from the smallest to the largest, recorded a positive profit before tax.

The New Zealand wine industry is broken down into five categories; $0 – 1.5 m, $1.5 – 5m, $5 – 10m, $10 – 20m and $20m+. T h e m o s t c o n s i s t e nt performance was amongst the larger wineries, with an average profit after tax of 18.7 percent. The two smallest categories showed the lowest profitability

as a percent and also had higher levels of expenses. But at least, the report says, there was profitability, something that has only occurred in 2014 and 2016. With an export market that has continued to grow steadily for the past 23 years, it is the larger categories that are making the most of it, whereas smaller wineries tend to concentrate on the domestic market according to the survey. Sixty-nine percent of the wine from smaller wineries is sold domestically. Compare that with 66 percent of wine from larger companies being exported. But it is pointed out that there is a; “negative correlation between the levels of revenue per litre and returns on assets, due to the sales mix in terms of varietal, and export mix of bulk and packaged formats. We note larger wineries selling a higher proportion of bulk wine which is at the lowest price point.” That is not to say that larger wineries are not seeing an increase in RoA generally, as

the survey reports that larger wineries are generally more profitable, for many reasons but economy of scale being the most noted one. As mentioned earlier, 2018 was the 23rd consecutive year for growth in terms of wine exports. The growth to year end June 2018 was 2.5 percent, although the rate of that increase slowed with “just 0.8 percent more wine exported than 2017.” That can be put down to a smaller than expected vintage in 2018. However the supply shortfall was positive in terms of value, with the increase in the 2018 export price increasing to $6.70/l. Domestically the value rose as well, and the survey says “the combined analysis reveals a lift of 1.8 percent on average prices revealed by all wineries for all sales across all markets to $7.33/l.” One of the highlights of this year’s report is the impact innovation is having within the wine industry. All categories are increasing their investment

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in new plant and equipment technolog y. Driving that investment, is improving quality within the winery itself, as more and more look to cut costs of production. The second technological driver is productivity within the vineyard. And it is paying off. “Survey data indicates a positive link between innovation s p e n d i ng an d re tu r ns .” That finding is supported by an earlier ANZ report that focused on innovation within the New Zealand manufacturing sector. “It found a correlation b e t w e e n i nv e s t m e nt i n innovation and the achievement of productivity gains. The data showed those who invested in innovation had a stronger return on invested capital than those who didn’t and sales revenue grew faster.” But the report does ask an important question.

“Are financially strong wineries able to prioritise investment because they have more cash to invest, or do they have more to invest as a result of the innovations already applied? The answer is likely a combination of both factors along with other factors unique to every business.” There was a recommendation within the report regarding this subject. “For wine businesses, use this report as a prompt to think about where you are at in terms of investing in innovative technologies. Remember also that innovation isn’t necessarily about financial investment. It’s very much about a way of thinking of doing things differently and better. What can you do to foster a culture which drives innovation? “You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, think about what you can learn from other businesses who are innovating and using

digital tools.” The Deloitte, ANZ, NZW benchmarking survey can be

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Women in Wine

Kirsten Searle

Matawhero WORDS - TESSA NICHOLSON

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IT TAKES a lot of gumption to take on a vineyard and wine label that is etched into New Zealand’s wine history. But Kirsten Searle, with husband Richard were not phased by the prestige that was associated with the name Matawhero, when they first looked at the property back in 2008. Kirsten wasn’t even phased by the fact that the once backbone of Gisborne’s wine history, was run-down, resembled “a jungle” and only had a handful of vines left. Or the fact that she had a three-year-old, a one-year-old and one on the way, and they would have to live in the house that desperately needed renovation. It was the vision that the couple could start from scratch and reignite the name, that drew her to the block of 15 hectares. “We knew the history, knew it had brand awareness, but we still had to start again. There were no sales, nothing really.”

Former owner and founder of Matawhero, Denis Irwin, had turned much of the original vineyard into cropping land when the couple purchased it. “There weren’t many vines out there, a lot had been pulled out over time. Everything else was bare land, which was probably quite good for us because it meant we could plant straight away. And that’s what we did, we got straight in and planted it up. We needed to, as we needed to get fruit off as soon as possible to make some money.” Australian born Kirsten met her husband (Gisborne born Richard) while working in London. When the couple returned to New Zealand in 2000, she decided she wanted a job that was “fun and social”. “I had been working for Deutsche Bank in London, which was pretty boring, so I wanted something more fun.” She applied for and got a job at Villa Maria in sales and mar-

keting. The wine industry was an instant drawcard she says. “The industry was buzzing, everyone was talking about it.” The fact Richard’s parents owned a vineyard in Gisborne seemed to be serendipity. After a couple of vintages, one with Villa Maria, the other with Montana, Kirsten and Richard moved back to Gisborne in 2002 and started their own label, Brunton Road. But economies of scale meant the couple wanted more land, so when Matawhero came on the market they jumped at the chance. With the help of viticulturist Jeremy Hyland and winemaker Kim Crawford they began their journey to re-create the land and label. Given they were starting from scratch they brought on board two contract growers to help them over the development phase. Those growers are still with them, 11 years later. The “home block” as Kirsten

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“I had been working for Deutsche Bank in London, which was pretty boring, so I wanted something more fun.” calls it, is planted in aromatics, Viognier, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris. Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Noir and Merlot come from other blocks. “We have been quite site specific in picking our sites because they are good for the varieties we want to showcase. The road to 2019 hasn’t been an easy one – especially given the fact they bought just before the global financial crisis hit hard.

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Roots, Shoots & Fruits Soil Health, Plant Health, YOUR Health “A couple of years later I thought we had bought at the toughest time. But I realised it is only going to get better. Yes, it is tough, but it’s not going to get any worse.” With Richard working fulltime outside the vineyard, it has been down to Kirsten to reestablish the label. “Basically, I run the business, and I have had to get in and learn. There are a few good things I have done, like the Icehouse Business Mentoring programme. That is really good, having someone to bounce ideas off. I have also had Kim and Erica (Crawford) I can ring and ask advice if I wanted to. It’s about not trying

to do everything, it’s about asking people for advice. I probably have got a cross section of skills to help me.” As the first regional coordinator for Women in Wine Gisborne, Kirsten is also a member of the Gisborne Winegrowers Committee and marketing subcommittee. With all her travelling selling wine domestically, running the business and three children, she has been busy. But there are no regrets. “Oh, everyone has their day when they wake up and think ‘what am I doing?’ But Gisborne is a great place. Look around, it has a great lifestyle. Although I laugh at that word lifestyle. I

travel quite a bit so I don’t really get to sit around on the beach and do nothing.” Part of that travelling sees her as a one-person dynamo advert for Gisborne wines. “I think I am a good advocate for the region domestically, and beating the drum for what our regions stands for.” With the winery reaching 12,000 cases, sold in the domestic market and Pacific Islands, Kirsten’s next progressive step is to take the label and of course Gisborne to the world. “I think it is the right time. Six to 10 years ago there wasn’t the push for other varieties other than Sauvignon Blanc. But

Q&A WITH KIRSTEN SEARLE What do you love about the NZ Wine industry? What’s not to love, with the diversity of regions and wine styles we can produce set amongst stunning landscape! I love my job – great wine, great food, I get to travel and tell people about our story and region. What is the vintage that stands out most to you? I still think the 2013 will go down as the best across the board for our region. Who has been your greatest mentor? My dad – he taught me to be determined and fiercely independent. What is the best piece of advice you have been given? Don’t sit back and wait for things to come to you. You have to go out and grab every opportunity that comes your way. What is your advice to any woman thinking of entering the wine industry? Go for it! It has been kind to me and a great way to spend the last 20 years but it is what you make of it and the effort you put in!

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Kirsten with baby Gabrielle, planting vines.

now there is and it’s a good time to capitalise on that. We haven’t been able to export because we have been growing so fast the last two or three years. The first five years were building a brand, which you can’t do by dropping your price. We wanted it to be sustainable for us and our growers in that we wanted to pay them well so that everyone benefits. And you can’t do that overnight. “But now the time may be right, we are now at 12,000 cases, so the next step is export.” The world is Kirsten’s oyster, if the past 10 years are anything to go by. tessa.nicholson@me.com


A winning team. Kirsten and viticulturist Jeremy Hyland with their trophies and the winning wines from the Gisborne Regional Wine Awards 2014. PHOTOGRAPH BY DIANA DOBSON/THE BLACK BALLOON

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Social Media

Can social media influencers help wine? LEE SUCKLING

RATHER THAN advertise your product in traditional magazine or newspaper format, you’ve probably thought about marketing via Instagram and other social networks. Whether you’re a small family-run winery from Canterbury or an LVMH-owned juggernaut in Champagne, Instagram has become the channel of choice for telling the world about your wine. Paid advertising spots on social media aside, what are the roles of “influencers” in this? A social media influencer is a celebrity of sorts, qualified by their online following and the community they have daily access to through their posts. Social media influencers can sometimes be offline personalities (e.g. actors, presenters) too, but these days influencers make an entire career out of just using the Instagram platform to wield their power. Social media influencers are beneficial for New Zealand wine companies trying to enter the Asian market, said Sarah Heller, founder of Heller Beverage

One of China’s most followed wine influencers, Lady Penguin.

Advisory and a Master of Wine, at the International Sauvignon Blanc Celebration in Blenheim in January. Social media and the internet dominate Asian markets and women influencers, in particular, play a critical role in forging status in China’s wine trade.

Strangely enough, this has nothing to do with how your wine tastes or what foods it works with. Social media influencers don’t generally give their audience tasting notes – they’re not actually wine experts, after all. Instead, said influencers represent an aspirational life-

style (normally one of luxury) and particular wine brands can be associated with that – for a price. This lifestyle element is relevant worldwide – younger generations, especially, drink a wine because of what it “says” about them – but is particularly

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NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019


important in the Chinese market where brands are chosen by consumers purely because they wield a cachet of luxury. The New Zealand Herald reported in February that social media marketing for a wine company could take around $7000 a month out of your promotional budget. You might not generally pay influencers in cash to promote your product in their posts (though this is becoming more common). Instead, a brand might start by sending an influencer bottles of product in hopes that they will take to it. Initially, just one post with your winery’s named tagged is the goal. Wine influencers spend years building their image around being sophisticated, and when they reach a certain status (sometimes typified by the number of followers, e.g. over 100,000, and/or the quality of their followers), they are sought out by brands to help tell their story. Influencers are trusted by their audiences because they are perceived to have taste, and a photo with a glass of a particular wine in hand is seen as a recommendation. If you choose to engage with a social media influencer, your marketing budget really gets

Wine influencers expect to be flown business class, stay in 5-star hotels, and drink and eat with spectacular vistas suitable for posting photos of in Instagram. ramped up when it comes to providing all-inclusive trips to your winery/wine region. Wine influencers expect to be flown business class, stay in 5-star hotels, and drink and eat with spectacular vistas suitable for posting photos of in Instagram. When it works, the results are spectacular visual advertisements of your brand seen by hundreds of thousands, or millions, of engaged consumers. Whether or not this effort has been successful (and the only way to really discover if an influencer will actually improve your bottom line) is by seeing if you actually get an increase in sales because an influencer’s followers have listened to the “advice” they’ve received. Chinese influencers with this sort of power, according to The New Zealand Herald, are the likes of Vanessa Hong, Feng Fan, Xiaowen Ju, and Wanwan Lei. Yet it pays to always be aware

that while brand awareness and recognition is important, social media influencers are only worth your time and money if their work with you actually translates into an increase in product sold. None of this is without controversy. In many countries, it’s a violation of consumer rights acts to post sponsored content on social media without disclosing it. Model Kendall Jenner, who has over 100 million followers, found herself in hot water in early 2019 because she did not disclose that she was paid $250,000 for a post about a now-infamous music festival (Fyre, which was later found out to be a scam). In response, advertising standards authorities and codes around the world are now releasing guides on how social media influencers must declare their relationship with a brand. The most common workaround for influencers seems to

be the usage of the hashtags #ad or #sponsored. Thus brings consumers to a moral dilemma. If a social media influencer is being paid (either directly in dollars or in gifts, trips, and contra) to recommend your wine to an audience, and those followers know that this influencer is gaining financially from it, should they believe the recommendation? If those who buy and drink wine see through a social media sponsored post (and know a product isn’t recommended for legitimate reasons), might they end up thinking worse of both the wine brand and the influencer? At the present time it doesn’t appear the one billion-plus Instagram users around the world care that much. They accept that being a social influencer is a career (and may actually aspire to it), and are not phased that products are being promoted to them for profit. Interestingly, there is even a current trend for hopeful influencers to use hashtags like #ad and #sponsored even when they are not being paid for a post. It is thought by them to create an illusion they are more influential than they actually are, as companies may use these hashtags to find potential influencers who they may want to partner with. This phenomenon of social media influencers may come across as alien to generations of people who think the entire process lacks the authenticity. This media channel is certainly not dying out anytime soon, however. Aligning a social media influencer with your wine brand might be a good idea, but you should understand its costs and risks. It goes without saying that you should have a good idea of what results you want to (and can realistically) achieve before you start buying influencers first-class flights to New Zealand. lee.suckling@gmail.com

NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019  //   51


Obituary

Raymond Chan – a very special vintage JOELLE THOMSON

HE WILL be long remembered for his love of wine, his desire to democratise it and the diverse tastings he pioneered in Wellington in the 1990s. Some will recall his precision and accuracy on his controversial website. Others will remember his sense of humour and connections in the wine industry. But one of the strongest memories that the name Raymond Chan will evoke is courage. Raymond passed away at home on Sunday 11 February this year. His partner Sue Davies was by his side. He continued to cycle daily, travel to tastings around the country and publish wine reviews, until late into his journey with cancer. Raymond became interested in wine when he was 23 years old, studying psychology at the University of Otago and working at his family’s new business, Chan’s Garden Restaurant, in Dunedin. Like many restaurants back in the day, Chan’s was solely a bring-your-own. New Zealand varietal wines made from Vitis vinifera grapes were something of a novelty at the time. And Raymond’s family was not familiar with wine. It didn’t take long for them to become hooked on its nuances and the dynamics of the fast developing New Zealand wine industry. Raymond once said he was amazed by the early New Zealand wines and their names sounded so exotic that he and his brother, Norman, both became professionally involved in the industry.

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“We got to know wine reps through the restaurant, who drank wines from Drouhin and Taittinger and danced on the tables. I thought, ‘that looks like fun; I want to work in that industry’, so I did.”

“We got to know wine reps through the restaurant, who drank wines from Drouhin and Taittinger and danced on the tables. I thought, ‘that looks like fun; I want to work in that industry’, so I did,” he said. Master of Wine Bob Campbell asked him to become a wine judge at the Royal Easter Wine Show in 1988. He moved to Wellington in 1989 to work at Wilson Neill as a wine advisor, then at O’Reilly’s on Thorndon Quay, where he established Wellington wine tasting programmes. And then, most famously, he went to work at Regional Wines & Spirits for the store’s founder, the late Grant Jones. He d e s c r i b e d G r a n t

NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019

as a visionary. It’s an apt description and one that also applies to Raymond. Both men recognised the potential of New Zealand wine in its very early modern days. Jones’ role was selling it while Chan’s was one of discovering how it was made and communicating this to a wide range of budding Wellington wine lovers. I was one of them. Many of them remain fans of Raymond’s encouragement of and influence on their own wine journeys. I owe a lot to Raymond. He encouraged my early wine writing career enthusiastically and warmly, always happy to see me attend the accessible and

indepth tastings at Regional Wines. I remember the first I ever attended, which was with Esk Valley winemaker Gordon Russell, who had driven down to Wellington specially for the night to host a tasting of The Terraces reds. The next tasting was a vertical of Chateau Beaucastel. Talk about eye opening. I know I am not alone when I write that Raymond made an enormous positive difference to my wine journey. He made it possible to learn and understand without feeling intimidated by a subject that is too often shrouded in mystique and pomposity. His refreshing humility, openness to new wines and great ability to communicate will long be remembered, treasured and, I hope, honoured. It was a great honour to know him. mailme@joellethomson.com


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Event News

Prepare to be inspired TESSA NICHOLSON

WITH TWO highly successful conferences under their belt, Organic Winegrowers New Zealand’s (OWNZ) planning for a third is well underway. With the theme of Vitality – of the land, in the winery and within the millennial marketplace, the Organic and Biodynamic conference is planned for June 25-27, in Blenheim. Stephanie McIntyre, marketing and events manager for OWNZ says the thirst for knowledge from growers and wineries throughout the country is leading the planning. And not all those desiring to learn have already moved towards organics or biodynamics. “Within the membership of OWNZ we have 72 wineries that currently produce organic wines, but we have 200 members. At the last conference, we had an impressive growth in the number of conventional grape growers attending. Part of OWNZ is to educate and support organics, but our absolute goal is to encourage conventional growers to convert.” McIntyre points out that organics and biodynamics are not just a current craze that will fade into oblivion. “There is a lovely quote I read recently that says it all. Eating and drinking organic isn’t a trend. It is a return to traditions.” For that reason the programme for the three-day-event will cover some basic organic information, right through to more in-depth material, covering subjects ranging from viti-

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culture to marketing. Speakers from as far away as the US, Chile, Italy and Australia will share the stage with New Zealanders who have been practicing organic or biodynamic principles for a number of years. Not all come from small family owned or boutique wineries, McIntyre says. A number of overseas speakers will vouch for the fact that organics is a viable option on a large corporate scale. “That will be part and parcel of the conference. No matter what size you are as a grower or winery, there are so many things that you can do that are viable for your business.” Marketing to millennials is a core tenet of the upcoming conference. As McIntyre says, they are the future wine drinkers and organic and biodynamic producers have something special to offer them.

NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019

“They are a target demographic and we have a product they relate to. Obviously natural wine is a buzz word for this market, especially in Australia, but elsewhere as well. It is an opportunity to say to this market that organics and biodynam-

ics is natural, and to also point out that natural is not always organic.” As with any good conference, the day-time events are dovetailed in among a number of evening experiences. On the first night, attendees


will be treated to a New Zealand organic and biodynamic wine tasting entitled Tastes and Tunes. Fifteen member wineries will pour a selection of wines from their portfolio, accompanied by organic sourced finger food. Night two is a gala dinner, on stage at the ASB Theatre, catered

by well-known local restaurant Arbour. On night three, the small internal theatre, will be turned into a speak-easy bar, redolent of the prohibition era, complete with blues musicians and an international wine tasting. “This is being curated by Clive Dougall and will show-

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case that many of the best wines around the globe are in fact organic or biodynamic,” McIntyre says. Up to 350 people are expected to attend the conference, with a surprising number of Australians making their way across the Tasman especially for it. McIntyre says there is

nothing of a similar ilk held in Australia, and as in past conferences, our Australian counterparts are eager to take part. “One of our international speakers is an Australian winemaker who attended the 2017 conference, and was so impressed that she wanted to be involved this year and share some of her own learnings and experiences.” Perhaps one of the highlights for everyone, will be guest speaker Ruud Kleinpaste, known as The Bugman. With a theme of what can we learn from bugs and nature, the irrepressible Kleinpaste is sure to connect with his audience. Tickets for the conference are now on sale.

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Wine Awards

Royal Easter Show Wine Awards 2019 AND THE TROPHY WINNERS ARE Guala Closures NZ Award for Champion Wine of the Show Giesen The Brothers Chardonnay 2017  Rapid Labels Award for Champion Sparkling  Daniel Le Brun Blanc de Blanc 2012 

Winemaker of the Year at the 2019 Royal Easter Show Wine Awards, Nikolai St George from Giesen Wines.

Red Badge Security Award for Champion Riesling Ata Mara Central Otago Riesling 2018  Royal Easter Show Award for Champion Pinot Gris  Villa Maria Cellar Selection Marlborough Pinot Gris 2018  The Production & Music Agency Award for Champion Rosé  Waipara Hills Waipara Valley Pinot Noir Rosé  Guala Closures NZ Award for Champion Sauvignon Blanc  Grove Mill Sauvignon Blanc 2018  New World Award for Champion Chardonnay  Giesen The Brothers Chardonnay 2017  Pullman Auckland Award for Champion Wine, Other Varieties  Elephant Hill Sea Viognier 2018  New Zealand WineGrower Magazine Award for Champion Pinot Noir  Wild Earth Pinot Noir Reserve Earth & Sky 2014  MyFarm Award for Champion Merlot & Blends  Raparua Springs Classic Hawkes Bay Merlot 2016  Wineworks Award for Champion Cabernet Sauvignon & Blends  Villa Maria Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Cabernet Sauvgnon Merlot 2016  Mainfreight Award for Champion Export Wine  Two Rivers Clos des Pierres Chardonnay 2017  Esvin Wine Resources Award for Champion Syrah  Empirical Syrah 2016

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NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019

Auckland Agricultural & Pastoral Association Heritage Rosebowl Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Syrah 2006, 2010, 2016  Drinksbiz Magazine Award for Champion Medium Sweet or Sweet Wine  Giesen The Brothers Late Harvest Sauvignon Blanc 2014  Guala Closures NZ Award for Best Presented Screwcap Wine Bottle  Church Road Gwen Rosé 2018  Auckland Agricultural & Pastoral Association Gold Medal for Winemaker of the Year  Nikolai St George (Giesen Wines) 


MORE HONOURS Two individuals were inducted into the New Zealand Wine Hall of Fame at the Royal Easter Wine Awards.

Terry Dunleavy, a trustee of the NZ Wine Hall of Fame Trust stood in for its chairman to present certificates to 2019 inductees, Kate Radburnd FNZW, and Sue Davies (centre), who accepted the posthumous award for Raymond Chan.

Well known and muchloved Raymond Chan, who died earlier this year, was inducted posthumously. His partner Sue Davies accepted the award. Winemaker Kate Radburnd who has played an integral part in New Zealand’s wine industry was the second inductee. Terry Dunleavy who has been a stalwart of the Royal Easter Wine Awards since 1988, was also honoured at the Awards night, and made a Honorary Life Member of the Auckland A & P Association

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NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019  //   57


Industry Profile

After 40 years, it’s farewell to Mike TESSA NICHOLSON

There is no need to introduce Dr Mike Trought when he appears as a speaker at a wine conference. His name has become synonymous with wine science. From a researcher, to a lecturer at Lincoln University, to a viticulturist for Villa Maria, back to a wine scientist based in Marlborough. Just about every wine industry accolade has been behooved upon him, he has been an integral part of the science behind New Zealand wine and now after 40 years, he has retired. I for one don’t know what I will do without Mike at the end of a phone to explain the ins and outs of the wine industry today. But rather than attempt to profile this great man, I thought it was better that he sum up his life of wine science. The following is from his retirement speech, at the end of January.

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Dr Mike Trought

MARION AND I arrived in New Zealand in 1978, newly married and with a PhD certificate, on which the ink was hardly dry. It described that I knew how wheat seedlings responded to waterlogging damage. I vividly remember my first bottle of New Zealand wine. We pulled the cork and it was totally undrinkable. Needless to say, my destiny was determined and the journey has been fun. Science is fun. Having the opportunity to play and be paid for it, to ask and answer questions, then watch the results of your efforts used in the field and to think you have made a difference is immensely satisfying. Add to that encouraging and mentoring some of the brightest, most enthusiastic young people and watch them grow

NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019

and in turn make a different is satisfying beyond description. It has been a long journey, since we established the Marlborough Research Centre in the 1980’s. It was, and is unique in the New Zealand science scene and in the early years we managed to work our way through the minefield of satisfying many bosses in MAF, DSIR and the local politicians. More recently, and I am talking the past 30 years, it was Lincoln. I have just spent three days at the Sauvignon Celebrations and had the pleasure of catching up with other students I taught at Lincoln when I was there. My three years with Villa (Maria) let me put theory into practice. To work alongside people like Sir George gave me an understanding of what is really

important in the vineyard. And to the growers. In particular a realisation that the grower’s livelihood, vineyard and house depend on the decisions they make and in some cases the information we as scientists provide. Most of my career has been in science in Marlborough. I have always tried to direct my research to provide a useful outcome to industry. However, I firmly believe that a strong background in plant physiology is necessary if we are to understand the processes behind vine development. Viticulture is full of dogma, which if we accept without challenge, will prevent future innovation. My research in Marlborough and while at Lincoln covered a wide range of topics. I divide


Science is about trying to anticipate the future. Today’s problems have to be solved with today’s information. Tomorrow’s problems have to be worked on today. scientists into two groups; those that know more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing. And those that know less and less about more and more until they know nothing about everything. I consider myself in the latter group, having undertaken work ranging from bird behavior in vineyards to irrigation and canopy management. As I look across my research output, there are many highlights. Irrigation and in particular how vine under storey may be used to manage vine vigour. When I started the research, vineyards were largely cultivated and there were questions about the need to irrigate. There are few cultivated vineyards

today. One of the unexpected outcomes of our research was the benefit that the under storey has on the breakdown of vine prunings and the consequent benefit in Botrytis management and vineyard efficiency. The frost review that Stan Howell (from Michigan State University) and I prepared in 1999. This was widely used after the frosts a few years later and still gets referred to. The influence of Sauvignon Blanc vine management on key flavour and aroma compounds in our iconic wine. While we have made a lot of progress, there is still more to do. Lower alcohol wines. Our initial research looking at desynchronizing sugar accu-

The mechanical thinning programme Mike was involved in, “possibly the bigeest step jump in Botrytis management in 10 years.”

mulation from other metabolites was done by a couple of my PhD students. The understanding they provided on how leaf area; fruit weight ratio changes the synchrony of fruit development was integrated into a low alcohol wine programme I undertook with John Forrest. More recently, this understanding has been used in trying to predict the possible consequences of climate change, in particular how warming may

change vine phenology and composition. The work we did on vine shaking. Initially undertaken to manage yields, it is now widely used to manage botrytis. Possibly the biggest step jump in Botrytis management in 10 years. Yield prediction. My phone runs hot in June as viticulturists ask for my prediction in the coming season. After 2008 I seemed to spend hours on the road talking to growers about the processes and physiology of grapevine yield development. Science is about trying to anticipate the future. Today’s problems have to be solved with today’s information. Tomorrow’s problems have to be worked on today. The New Zealand wine industry holds a special place in the world, which we are all passionate about. Our industry is like a grapevine, it needs to nurtured and cared for to grow and remain healthy, for all great wines start in the vineyard. Dr Mike Trought also paid tribute to the many people he had worked with over his 40 years in the industry including; Damian Martin, Bala, Craig Jensen, Andrew Naylor, Richard Hunter, Jeff Bennett, Amber Parker and Mark Greven to name just a few. Plus his wife Marion.

NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019  //   59


Biosecurity Update

2018/19 - the summer of fruit flies SOPHIE BADLAND

Not long after a few BMSB post-border detections were dealt with, another familiar biosecurity threat has raised its head. A Queensland fruit fly (Bactrocera tryoni) was found in a Biosecurity New Zealand surveillance trap in Devonport on 14th February 2019, and the initial detection was followed by several more in short succession. SHOULD WE BE WORRIED ABOUT FRUIT FLIES? Some species of fruit fly, including the two found in Auckland, have the potential to threaten New Zealand’s fruit and vegetable export industry, currently worth about $3.6 billion a year. Fruit flies lay their eggs inside the skin of fruit as it ripens. These eggs hatch into larvae inside the fruit, and the larvae feed on the fruit making it inedible. An established population of fruit fly in New Zealand could mean many countries won’t buy our produce. As the wine industry produces a processed, bottled product, fruit flies present less of a risk. Grapes are a fruit fly host plant, but larvae can’t survive the fermentation process and don’t have any significant impact on the flavour profile of wine. Fruit flies do feature on the New Zealand Winegrowers list of Most Unwanted pests, but this is primarily because of the restrictions put in place when they are detected. BIOSECURITY RESPONSE AND CONTROLLED AREAS When a fruit fly is found in a surveillance trap, a biosecurity response is triggered. Bios-

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Queensland Fruit fly

TIMELINE

14/02/19 – First Queensland fruit fly (QFF) detected in Devonport 18/02/19 – A fruit fly of a different species, Bactrocera facialis (facialis fruit fly) detected in Ōtara 20/02/19 – QFF detected in Northcote 21/02/19 – A second facialis fruit fly found in Ōtara 25/02/19 – Another QFF found in Northcote 1/03/19 – A third QFF found in Northcote

ecurity New Zealand declare a response and set a legal Controlled Area in place around the site of the detection. This Controlled Area made up of two Zones, A and B. Zone A is the highest-risk area within 200m of the detection site, while Zone B is the area within 1.5km. Many extra fruit fly traps are set within the Controlled Area, and special bins are out for residents in the area to dispose of fruit and vegetable waste. No fruit or vegetables can be taken out of the Controlled Area. Samples are taken from fruit trees in backyards and checked in a mobile lab. Compost is inspected. Pamphlets are dropped to all residents and biosecurity officials approach risk businesses

NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019

– those selling or handling fruit and vegetable products – to let them know about the restrictions. Schools and community groups operating in the area are informed, and biosecurity officials attend local markets and events to reinforce to the public the importance of abiding by the restrictions. In the recent cases in Auckland, there were no vineyards within the Controlled Areas and therefore no impact on the New Zealand wine industry. However, if there was a fruit fly detection in a wine-production area this could make it very difficult to move grapes out of the vineyard at harvest and may result in significant loss to those affected – hence the inclusion of

5/03/19 – A fourth QFF found in Northcote, and a third facialis fly found in Ōtara 10/03/19 – A fifth QFF found in Northcote 14/03/19 – Sixth QFF found in Northcote

fruit fly on the list of the industry’s Most Unwanted pests. If no breeding population is found, a level one response will likely last for 14 days from the last detection. After this, the Controlled Area will be disestablished, and movement restrictions lifted. Extra traps may remain in place at the discretion of Biosecurity New Zealand. Should a breeding population (or several more


Taking the lid off innovation.

A Lynfield Fruit Fly trap

flies) be found, the response will increase. This involves spraying host trees in the Controlled Area with bait laced with fipronil, a broad-spectrum insecticide which will kill female fruit flies (as they aren’t attracted to the traps). Fruit from trees sprayed with fipronil is unsafe for consumption. Biosecurity New Zealand works with industry partners on the Fruit Fly Council to decide on the level of response and actions taken. The Fruit Fly council is made up of representatives from those industries party to the Fruit Fly Operational Agreement (OA), established under GIA. New Zealand Winegrowers is not a signatory to the Fruit Fly OA, but we do monitor any detections closely and put out updates and advice for members in affected areas.

HOW DO THE SURVEILLANCE TRAPS WORK? The national Fruit Fly surveillance programme is managed by AsureQuality for Biosecurity New Zealand. Thousands of traps are set up in grid networks in high risk areas across the country, with fruit fly host plants used as trap sites. The traps used are called Lynfield traps and are essentially

small plastic buckets with holes in the sides. A pheromone lure and sticky insecticide strip are hung inside the bucket. If male fruit flies are present in the area, they are attracted to the pheromone and enter the trap. They stick to the strip and are killed by the insecticide. When the trap is checked, the specimen will be collected and sent for identification at MPI’s lab. Because a pheromone lure is used, the traps will only catch male fruit flies. A breeding population is confirmed by finding larvae in infested fruit or sighting of female flies on host material. Fruit flies have been detected in New Zealand before, including in 2015 when a breeding population was found in Grey Lynn, Auckland. This population was eradicated, and New Zealand Winegrowers is confident that the response activities will result in successful eradication should this occur again. If you think you have seen an adult fruit fly, fruit fly larvae, or anything else unusual, don’t forget to Catch It, Snap It and Report It to the Biosecurity New Zealand hotline on 0800 80 99 66, and get in touch with the NZW Biosecurity team (biosecurity@nzwine.com).

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NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019  //   61


Industry News

Global role for New Zealand winemaker TESSA NICHOLSON

NEW ZEALAND’S Brancott Estate ambassador, Patrick Materman, has long made his mark on the domestic wine scene. Now he is about to make his mark on the global scene, having been appointed as Pernod Ricard’s Global Winemaker. Taking on the role last November, Materman will work with the corporate’s winemakers in countries like the US, Spain, Australia as well as here at home in New Zealand. He will also work alongside some of the corporate’s smaller entities in Argentina, China and India. The latter being a country that fascinates him, he admits, as it establishes its own wine industry. “India reminds me of the early years in Marlborough, with lots still to learn to reveal the potential of their vineyard sites,” he says. Although the viticulture couldn’t be more different. “You are dealing with tropical viticulture, so the vines are evergreen and you are pruning them twice a year, then dropping crop so there is no crop over the summer and autumn months. Essentially they prune in September for their actual crop, which comes in in March (spring). That’s because it is cooler and drier at that time of year, without monsoons.” India is probably not the first place that comes to mind when people think about purchasing a bottle of wine, but Materman says some very smart Chenin Blanc and Shiraz are coming out of the wine growing region of Maharashtra, around 200 km north-east of Mumbai.

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“Obviously the wines are warm climate, (average spring temperatures 30 – 32 degs). I think the Chenin Blanc does well there because it is a naturally high acid variety and the fruit has some vibrancy to it, which you wouldn’t necessarily expect from a tropical climate.” However there is one issue that winemakers need to overcome, Materman says – the impact of smoke taint. As Global Winemaker, his role is to encourage knowledge sharing across the whole group, and that is already being undertaken in the Indian situation. “I am talking to the guys in Australia and California about the issues of smoke taint, and drawing on information from the AWRI (Australian Wine Research Institute) for example. I am setting up some trials this vintage on Shiraz and we will get those measured at AWRI to see what the smoke taint levels are and try to define ways

NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019

“India reminds me of the early years in Marlborough, with lots still to learn to reveal the potential of their vineyard sites.”

of eliminating in future years.” While Pernod Ricard don’t own any vineyards in India, they are buying fruit from a number of growers, who Materman says are keen to learn. “Most of these growers are fantastic horticulturists, so they come from a family history of growing table grapes and other products. They understand horticulture very well.” As well as facilitating the sharing of knowledge, Materman is also involved in winemaker development throughout

the Pernod Ricard company. “There is a massive amount of young talent, so how do we support that and grow those people as well? That is part of my role, so I am acting as a mentor to a couple on the team in the US and also one in Australia. It is a fun role and one which I have learned so much from as well.” Despite a large amount of travel on the cards with his new position, Materman will continue to wave the New Zealand flag. Especially as he remains the brand ambassador for Brancott Estate, is a member of the New Zealand Winegrowing Board, deputy chair of the research advisory committee, a member of the finance committee and the recent chair of Sauvignon 2019. “I still have a major passion for the New Zealand industry and want to stay involved in that.” tessa.nicholson@me.com


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Gypsum, a readily available form of calcium, is 100 times more soluble than lime and is more suitable for the digestive system during this period.

Gypsum is hydrated calcium sulphate. Calcium from gypsum replaces sodium in the soil. The sulphate allows the sodium to be effectively leached out of the soil. The soil then has more ability to flocculate and form stable aggregates to improve drainage and soil quality. Na+ Na+ Ca++ leached CaSO4 + Soil Cation Exchange  Soil Cation Exchange + Na2SO4

Gypsum in fertilising Soil tests throughout New Zealand shows sulphur deficiency is wide spread. Although often overlooked, sulphur is needed in at least equal quantities to phosphorus. Many responses in crops are sulphur due to the sulphate radical (SO4‑‑). • Readily dissociates into free calcium ions (Ca++) and sulphate ions (SO4‑‑), major elements in plant nutrition • Has an approximately neutral pH and can be used in heavy applications without causing undue alkalinity in soils

Gypsum in soil conditioning • Reduces cracking and compaction following irrigation and retards soil crusting • Allows soil to dry more quickly after rain or irrigation so that it may be worked sooner • Decreases energy requirements for tillage • Binds organic matter to soil and checks soil erosion • Enhances friendly bacterial action and discourages plant diseases related to poor soil aeration • Conditioned soil allows for deeper, healthier root development and

water penetration

Gypsum in water savings • • • •

Promotes water infiltration, retention and conservation Allows water to penetrate the soil without forming puddles or logging Conserves water by stretching intervals between irrigations Tests show that farmland treated with gypsum requires up to 33% less water than soils without recent gypsum application

Gypsum in amendment • Displaces sodium binding clay soils • Reduces high soil aluminium levels • Suppresses the soil acidification effects of growing crops and the prolonged use of acidifying fertilisers

For more about Natural Gypsum and soil stabilisation visit gypsum.co.nz 00590 - Gypsum - Winegrower Apr19 V2.indd 1

27/03/19 8:42 AM


Bob’s Blog

Setting the record straight BOB CAMPBELL MW

Huski wine cooler ABOUT A year ago I was contacted by Simon Huesser who had attended my wine course while working at Villa Maria. After some overseas travel Simon returned to New Zealand and developed a range of insulated stainless-steel products to keep beer cold and coffee hot. I’ve trialed the Huski Beer Cooler and Huski Short Tumbler (for hot coffee or cold beer) – they all work well. Simon wanted to develop an insulated wine cooler and had developed a prototype that would fit most, but not all, wine bottles. There was a little fine-tuning to do but I was able to test-drive the prototype and was impressed with its appearance, ease of use and ability to keep a chilled bottle of wine cool for several hours. Check out the chilling test on the Huski website https://www.huski.co.nz/blogs/news/ huski-wine-cooler-preliminary-product-test and you will see that the Huski Wine Cooler maintains a temperature of 6 or 7oC for a couple of hours than rises to around 8 oC after four hours and 10 oC after six hours.

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NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019

That’s an impressive performance. The brushed stainless-steel version costs $84.99 and for an extra $5 you can buy the cooler in white, black or rose colours. I use the Huski Wine Cooler when I am visiting friends or going to a BYO restaurant. It attracts a fair bit of interest – most people who have a fiddle with it want one. It’s a good idea to write your name and phone number on the underside in case you return home without it. That has happened to me twice but in both cases I managed to get it back. The wine cooler won’t accommodate some extra-large bottles that weigh over 1Kg and some particularly bulbous champagne bottles but it seemed to handle more than 90 percent of the bottles from my cellar. The Huski Wine Cooler was awarded the Best New Product in the People’s Choice Awards at the NZ Gift & Homeware Fair Autumn 2019. For more details or to purchase this rigorously tested cooler go to www.huski.co.nz

A STORY I wrote regarding Wine Scandals printed in the last issue of NZWinegrower, attracted a response from a friend of mine (Dr. Josef Schuller MW – Director Weinakademie Österreich Seehof), who runs a wine school in Austria. It seems that the facts may have become slightly distorted after 33 years. Here are some of the details he sent me, and I reprint them now to set the record straight. “Aside from all the tragic criminal dimension and the following economic and image crisis I think you are fully aware that this scandal triggered all the positive developments in Austrian wine we saw in the past 30 years, in fact, also my Austrian Wine Academy that I founded in 1989 would not exist without the wine scandal. Important!!NOBODY died and nobody was physically harmed by the substance. The estimate was that the lethal dose of a ‘glycol wine’ was about 25-30 litres at a time….. It was in fact not ‘anti-freeze’, the substance used as antifreeze in cars is ethylene glycol not diethylene glycol. Some journalist had the idea to choose the catchy term antifreeze. There were no wine growers involved or sentenced but criminal wine merchants who altered cheap wine to ‘Spätlese/Auslese’ style wines and shipped it in tank to Germany where it was bottled and sold. So the image of ‘two Austrian wine growers one on the southern and one on the northern side etc…’ is wrong and misleading.” I apologise for the incorrect details given in the previous article.


FREE SPIRITS WHEN I discovered that there was a distillery a few minutes’ walk from my house I reacted with enthusiasm. My enthusiasm dampened slightly after learning that Ecology + Co specialise in making alcohol-free spirits but when I tasted a very large, “alcohol-free” gin and tonic it was love at first sip. It tasted exactly like a very good gin and tonic but had zero alcohol, calories and sugar. It was so good I couldn’t drink it. It was 11:00 am and I am socially conditioned not to consume a stiff gin and tonic until at least 5:00pm. It was weird. I knew that my drink was alcohol-free but my brain was saying “if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck … it must be a duck.” I guarantee that when the clock ticks past 5:00pm and I pour myself a sizeable glass of Ecology + Co’s “London Dry” with tonic I’ll feel slightly squiffy after drinking

it. It’s called “the voodoo effect”. Ecology + Co’s founders are Diana and Will Miller. Diana describes herself as a “party girl” who loves a good gin and tonic. She had to give up alcohol after developing a bad reaction to it, still liked to enjoy a drink at bars but didn’t like any of the non-alcohol alternatives. “Why can’t someone produce an alcohol-free G&T” she moaned to Will. So, he did. Ecology + Co makes two alcohol-free spirits: London Dry, my favourite, and Asian Spice, which is apparently appreciated by sophisticated cocktail drinkers. I like it, but not as much as the London Dry. The distilling process is straight forward. The London Dry, for example, is a blend of Cardamom, Black Pepper, Cassia, Lemon, Lemon Myrtle, Cumin and Basil. Diana and Will mix up a strong

brew of each and distil them separately to recover a concentrated liquid essence. The challenging bit, I would imagine, is blending the components together to produce a delicious and consistent product. Who buys it? Anyone who can’t, or doesn’t want to drink alcohol but still wants a deliciously dry, calorie- and sugar-free cocktail. Add my name to the list (I fall into the “occasional non-alcohol drinker” category). A 700ml bottle of London Dry or Asian Spice costs $67, enough for 28 servings. Simply pour 25ml over ice and top up with tonic or soda. Diana and Will recommend Fever Tree tonic water with their London Dry and East Imperial Grapefruit or Yuza tonic water with Asian Spice. I like to serve London Dry with a twist of orange peel. To purchase or learn more log on to www. ecologyandco.com

NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019  //   65


Regions Nelson

The beautiful Falcon Ridge, developed at a cost of $12m, has removed all its vines – with owner Alan Eggers deciding winemaking wasn’t for him.

Changes in Nelson wine industry NEIL HODGSON

THER E HAVE been a few changes in the normally very stable Nelson wine industry in recent months, most notably the sale of the beleaguered former Mahana winery and restaurant facility along with the sale of vineyard land. There has also been a shuffling of seats in the world of winemakers with some talented winemakers moving from one winery to another within the region. However one of the most surprising moves came from award winning wine producer Falcon Ridge who simply pulled out all their vines. Having spent more than $12m developing the vineyards and rehabilitating a significant

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stand of QEII Trust forest, building a number of ponds, planting thousands of native plants and establishing kilometres of walking tracks to create an environment that reaches far beyond making wine, Alan Eggers decided winemaking wasn’t for him. Instead he is just going to enjoy the environment he has created and focus his efforts on his geology business. On a much more positive note New Zealand investment company Booster is breathing life back into a winery that has the potential to be the jewel in Nelson’s winery crown. Mahana, with an immense gravity fed winery had a chequered history under the control

NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019

of previous owner, American Casino boss Glenn Schaeffer. However the well-funded Booster operation and its strong corporate management team are moving very quickly to turn this previously underutilised facility into the exciting facility it was designed to be. General Manager of winemaking, Hamish Kempthorne, says Steve Gill, a talented winemaker from Appleby Vintners, has moved to the former Mahana winery as the production winemaker for the Booster owned, Sapor Makers and Growers. While it is very early days; “we haven’t even decided on a new name and brand for the facility yet”, the immediate focus

is on harvesting this years’ crop. The medium term intention is to turn it into a showcase facility with a premium restaurant that also showcases other wines from the group, including from Seleni in Hawke’s Bay, Waimea Estates in Nelson, Louis Vavasour in Marlborough and Bannock Brae in Central Otago. Another former Mahana vineyard on the Waimea Plains has been added to the Seifried Family Winemakers Estate portfolio as they continue to grow their production. So even as some struggle, there continues to be some shining lights investing in, and expanding, the Nelson wine industry. neil@savage.co.nz


Women in Wine

Mentors selected AS THE second Women in Wine mentoring programme gets underway, the programme has grown, with 11 mentors announced earlier this year. Each woman will team up with a younger member of the wine industry, helping to provide a skill set to help them move forward confidently. The 11 mentors are; Nat Christensen - Marlborough, Kate Radburnd – Hawke’s Bay, Tracy Taylor - Marlborough (each of these were part of the pilot programme in 2018), Lynnette Hudson – Auckland and North Canterbury, Fiona Johnman – Central Otago, Spring Timlin  –  Marlbrough and Central Otago  , Jane De Witt, Aukland/Gisborne/Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough, Elise Montgomery, EIT Hawke’s Bay, Lesley Boon Marlborough, and Cath HopkinArcher - Martinborough.

The women in Wine Mentors for 2019, at their first get together with mentoring professional Fiona Fenwick and national coordinator Nicky Grandorge.

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NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019  //   67


Mechanical News

New machinery for the vineyard MARK DANIEL

MASCHIO MULCHERS MAKE MINCEMEAT OF VINEYARD PRUNINGS THE M ASCHIO range of mulchers is claimed to be the most extensive in Europe, but for New Zealand viticulture, importer/distributor Power Farming suggests that the Corazza and Tigre models are a great fit. Corazza is available in cutting widths from 155 to 230cms, with rigid/central or offset in mechanical or hydraulic operation. Said to be suitable for tractors in the range of 50 to 80hp the machines feature a central gearbox delivering power to the side of the machine, that then transmits that power via four drive belts to the mulching rotor. In the case of the Corazza 190 model, the unit offers an industry leading 140cms of lateral offset, allowing the machine to work in restricted conditions or under overhanging canopies. The construction of the machine features a double-skinned rotor hood using 4mm plate steel, with a rear hood doubled up to 8mm thickness. Said to be able to deal with material up to 10mm diameter, the unit features a dynamically balanced rotor fitted with helically-mounted no.14 blades that work in conjunction with an internally mounted counter frame in the area of the rear hood. A rear roller system features internally mounted bearing

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assemblies, offering protection from obstacles or abrasive soils, while also offering superior support. Rotor bearings are a barrel design for self-alignment and resistance to lateral forces when turning on headlands. The rear roller offers two working positions, offering the ability to accommodate a rake kit, that serves to retain material, resulting in a finer chop of materials. The heavier Tigre Series, designed for use with tractors from 55 to 140hp, can deal with material up to 12cms diameter,

NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019

with a choice of mechanical or hydraulically offset headstocks. The dynamically-balanced 194mm diameter mulching rotor features 150mm wide, club-style hammers, each weighing 1.2kgs and arranged in a helical pattern on the rotor for smooth running at speeds from 1700 to 2100rpm. The lateral driveline incorporates five Kevlar reinforced drive bands, offering positive transmission of tractor power, but also giving a degree of shock protection in difficult conditions.

A floating headstock, combined with an adjustable rear roller assembly is said to ensure accurate ground following, so creating a consistent finish in the vineyard. The 3-metre machine has a maximum offset of 189cm, dropping to 141cms on the 2.1metre machine. An integral holding rake at the front and upper quarter of the hood helps re-cut material to a smaller particle size while an optional collecting rake is said to refine the process even further.


ITALIAN INNOVATION WITH GREEN CREDENTIALS ITALIAN MANUFACTURER Carraro, from Campodesega in the north of the country has history that dates to 1910. During a consolidation period in the 1980’s and 90’s, the company focussed production on “niche” tractors between 25 and 100hp, laid out with equal sized wheel equipment, that delivered power and traction, with the bonus of a tight turning circle in the confines of a narrow vineyard. On the manufacturing front, the company also created an axle and transmission division that has gone on to be the largest supplier in the world, used by many manufacturers in a variety of configurations. While their tractors have plenty of power for the prime mover and ancillary equipment, research suggests that in many cases the standard diesel engines being used in this type

of tractor are often running at sub-optimal efficiency. With this in mind, the company has developed the “Ibrido” tractor, featuring an electric motor and battery pack, with the intention of improving operating efficiency. With the electric motor offering up to 105hp, the same output as the diesel engine, the tractor can be used on a standalone electric basis, or in conjunction with the original engine. With a driveline that still retains the original 24F/24R speed layout, irrespective of the chosen power source, the set up should provide impressive torque response given the nature of electric motors. The company suggests that the electric propulsion system offers distinct advantages for those operations wishing to

create a positive environmental footprint, or indeed, in restricted environs such as in greenhouses or under low hung canopies. The interest in the unit was

noted at the recent EIMA 2018 Event with the concept being awarded both a Technical Innovation Award and the EIMA 2018 Blue Award. markd@ruralnews.co.nz

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NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019  //   69


Industry News

NZ Winemaker of the Year RENOWNED ATA Rangi winemaker and co-chair of Pinot 2021, Helen Masters was named the Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine’s New Zealand Winemaker of the Year. Masters was one of six outstanding winemakers nominated, the other five being Dr Andrew Hedley of Framingham, Kevin Judd of Greywacke, Jen Parr of Valli, James Healy of Dog Point Vineyard, and Peter Cowley of Te Mata Estate, who was nominated for the second year in a row. Though running in Australia for 20 years, this 2019 award is only the second time it has been conducted for New Zealandonly winemakers. Three other awards were made in addition to N.Z. Winemaker of the Year. Rudi Bauer of Quartz Reef received the ‘Leadership Award’, Ivan Sutherland of Dog Point the ‘Viticulturist of the Year’, and Peter Cowley of Te Mata received a special one-off ‘Lifetime Achievement Award.

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Industry News

Villa Maria makes NZ history FOR THE first time ever a New Zealand wine brand has been included in the top three Most Admired Wine Brands in the World, taking out the third spot. “It’s an absolute honour for Villa Maria to be named as the third most admired wine brand in the world and we are delighted to be held in such high esteem on the international stage,” said Villa Maria Founder and President, Sir George Fistonich. “New Zealand is a relatively young winemaking nation and to be in the top three wine brands in the world is immensely powerful for New Zealand wine and the New Zealand export sector. I’m very

excited about the future of our whole industry. This award is a testament to the unrelenting passion, enthusiasm and intelligence of winemaking and viticulture teams. Villa Maria has been named New Zealand’s Most Admired Wine Brand for five consecutive years and been in the World’s Top 10 placing fourth in 2015, eighth in 2016, fourth in 2017 and eighth in 2018. Judges look for the wine and brand to be a true reflection of the country of origin, consistency and quality, marketing appeal and the ability to meet consumer needs. “New Zealand wine has become a $1.7 billion inter-

national success story because our wine producers have always delivered real value to consumers,” says New Zealand Winegrowers Chief Executive Officer Philip Gregan. “This award highlights the on-going success of New Zealand wine brands as they compete for the attention of consumers across the globe.”

The ‘Most Admired Wine Brand’ awards are operated by Drinks International – one of the world’s leading and most respected drinks magazine and UK based global research company Wine Intelligence. The awards are judged by more than 130 industry experts. Winning companies had to produce wine of consistent or improving quality, reflect its region or country of origin, respond to the target audience, be well marketed and packaged, and appeal to a wide demographic. Three other New Zealand companies made the top 50; Felton Road at number 12, Cloudy

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17/01/18 12:29 PM


Villa Maria has been named New Zealand’s Most Admired Wine Brand for five consecutive years and been in the World’s Top 10 placing fourth in 2015, eighth in 2016, fourth in 2017 and eighth in 2018. Bay at 21 and Oyster Bay at 32. The top two Most Admired Wine Brands were; Australia’s Penfolds (1st) and Spain’s Familia Torres (2nd).

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NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019  //   73


Industry News

New brand from an old hand JOELLE THOMSON

FATHER AND son winemaking team John and Willy Hancock have launched a new brand from Hawke’s Bay grapes called Hanco ck & S ons. The concept for their new family owned brand is to work with growers from a range of regions and the grape varieties that are best suited to them. The Hawke’s Bay winemaking duo have released their first two wines with a website to support sales and marketing. These wines are a fullbodied Chardonnay and a pale dry Rosé. Both are made with grapes purchased in the Hawke’s Bay region but this is only the beginning, says John Hancock. He and Willy plan to add other varieties and regions to their portfolio further down

the line. Quantities are small, to date, and the wines are made at Moana Park Winery where John Hancock also works as winemaker. Willy Hancock is a winemaker at Church Road Winery.

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he became known as Mr Chardonnay for the big, buttery, barrel fermented Chardonnays he made at Morton Estate and Delegats before establishing Trinity Hill Winery in the Gimblett Gravels area in 1996. He has also worked vintages in the Rhone Valley and Burgundy. His son, Willy Hancock, is a graduate in winemaking and viticulture from Plumpton College. He has worked vintages in Sancerre, Bordeaux, California and California. The new Hancock & Sons brand is family owned and is mostly available online with small amounts also going into the restaurant trade and retail. mailme@joellethomson.com

MARKETING UPDATES ARCHIVES

www.nzwinegrower.co.nz 74   // 

NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019


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Not on the Label

LEGAL MATTERS WITH JAMES WARREN - SPECIAL COUNSEL, KENSINGTON SWAN

In season and in demand employees with rights FINDING TEMPORARY labour may be tough, but it’s not the time to cut corners Although businesses may be frantically running through their contract agencies on speed dial, it still pays to keep an eye on the fundamentals of good hiring and good employment practice. Recent enforcement action by the Labour Inspectorate has highlighted one element of the risks – with a $127,000 fine imposed against vineyard contracting company Double Seven Services for failing to offer minimum wages and holiday pay. It may be obvious, but caution is appropriate when contracting with organisations which supply ‘gangs’ of labour. Growers also need to be aware that it is not always possible to contract out of employment obligations and risk. Current case law, and the potential introduction of specific ‘Triangular Employment’ legislation, may make the hirers of agency labour responsible for any legal failings, whether in connection with pay, accommodation, holidays or unjustified dismissals. We have seen individuals engaged by labour hire agencies but acting under the control of the business in which they actually work bringing legal claims against those businesses.

76   // 

Even if such claims do not materialize, the reputational risk is significant. Most growers will recognise a moral obligation to ensure fair treatment of workers throughout their supply chain, and it only makes commercial sense to insist that labour contractors cooperate with basic due diligence checks on their service. Consumers both at home and internationally now demand ethical leadership when it comes to employment standards, and there are particular dangers when relying upon migrant workers. When it comes to direct hires for seasonal work, businesses will also wish to have sufficient flexibility over working hours and duration. In our experience careful drafting of the relevant employment agreements is required, with a focus on their fixed term seasonal nature and the definition of their end date. Having said that, given the difficulties involved in finding the right workers, mechanisms to incentivize the return of good employees in subsequent seasons should definitely be considered. Another element of the legal framework is the immigration law requirement. The Registered Seasonal

NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019

Employer (RSE) Scheme and obtaining approval in principle (AIP) for Supplementary Seasonal Employment Visas are key recruitment routes for employees from overseas, and that is for many the only viable option given local labour scarcity. However, the administrative hurdles are significant, and it is crucial to plan and commence the process well in advance. Failures to comply with the necessary immigration checks may also expose businesses to prosecution. It is essential to demonstrate that reasonable checks have taken place concerning employees’ entitlement to work. Separately, there are offences relating to exploiting migrant workers and a range of regulatory standards governing their treatment which must be observed. The third key legal obligation to bear in mind is the duty to ensure health and safety. Employees may be working 12 hour days and 6 day weeks, or more. Some of them may have come into the industry without a proper understanding of its physical demands. Others, such as cellar hands, may arrive having just finished a similarly taxing season abroad. A lack of fitness or tiredness in combination with

the use of machinery and hot conditions during the most busy time of the year for growers creates readily apparent risks which need to be identified and addressed. We suggest that induction and training is crucial, as may be ensuring access to appropriate support for seasonal employees and putting systems in place to spot fatigue. Finding seasonal employees, sorting out their ability to work in New Zealand, ensuring that they are contracted in the correct way and that their entitlements are observed, training them and then managing their work safely. It requires significant planning and investment to get them and to get their engagement right. Some might legitimately query the level of effort and difficulty involved, and there are definitely ‘red tape’ issues where processes could be streamlined. But equally, the shortage of labour in a growing industry, and the need for common standards and templates to manage seasonal work efficiently, are matters which arguably require more attention and investment as a matter of business leadership and government policy – to attract talent and train it, and to set standards to protect the industry and its growth.


FOR STATISTICS QUERIES CONTACT MOLLY COUTTS MOLLY.COUTTS@NZWINE.COM

JAN 2019

Key Performance Indicators

Keep an eye on how New Zealand wine is performing both domestically and internationally.

Total Value of Exports

$1.75

Growth Markets

Billion

fob value

$529.9m USA

2%

$416.9m UK

7%

$360.1m AUSTRALIA

CANADA

NETHERLANDS

CHINA

GERMANY

7%

Bulk Wine Export

Volume

Volume

154.4 mL

0.2%

109.0 mL

8%

Bulk white wine

Packaged Price

price

0.5%

3%

$3.89/L

$42.6m

$8.58/L

$38.7m

Domestic Sales, Volume

$32.3m

53.0m L

6%

1%

264%

$14.5m HONG KONG

Packaged Wine Export

2%

$127.3m

3%

11%

1% All figures are for the 12 months to the date specified, figures are in $NZD unless otherwise specified


Research Updates

Research Supplement Information and updates on Bragato Research Institute research programmes. Editors Dr Matias Kinzurik and Will Kerner, Research Programme Manager A regular feature to inform industry people about research projects being undertaken for their benefit. Newly approved projects (when available) are briefly summarised and longer reports, will describe what has been achieved so far. When completed, each project will be reported in full detail, with references, on nzwine.com

Quality Wine Styles for Existing and Developing Markets Lighter wine (PGP)

University of Auckland and Plant and Food Research (Various) Jointly funded by NZW and MPI Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) fund.

High-throughput genotyping of transposon-induced mutations in vines Lincoln University (C Winefield)

Population genomics of the wine spoilage yeast Brettanomyces bruxellensis Auckland University (M Goddard)

Low alcohol-reduced calorie wines using molecular sponges for sugar removal University of Auckland

(B Fedrizzi)

Shoot trimming effects on Pinot noir vine leaf area to fruit weight ratio, productivity and fruit composition Lincoln University

Breaking the quality-productivity seesaw in wine grape production (Pinot Noir Programme) University of Auckland, Plant and Food Research and Lincoln University (Various) Jointly funded by NZW and MBIE

The role of microbes in regional Pinot Noir quality and style University of Auckland (M Goddard)

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UC Davis collaboration to determine factors that affect colour in Pinot noir wines when grapes are harvested at lower than target berry soluble solids. Plant and Food Research (C Grose)

Exploring the chemical space in Vineyard Ecosystems (VE) Programme juices and wines University of Auckland (B Fedrizzi)

Untargeted aroma compound chemical analysis of Pinot noir Hills Laboratory (R Hill)

Pests and Disease Grapevine trunk disease; young vine ecology, diagnostics and preventative treatments New Zealand Viticulture Nursery Association Incorporated (VINA) (N Hoskins)

Optimising management of grapevine trunk diseases for vineyard longevity

South Australian Research & Development Institute (M Sosnowski)

Developing powdery mildew best practise in New Zealand vineyards A Lambourne - Supported by MPI Sustainable Farming Fund

Spray protocols to quantify and optimise spray deposits applied to dormant grapevines (trunks, heads, cordons and canes) Plant and Food Research (M Walter) Supported by MPI Sustainable Farming Fund as part of the Powdery mildew best practise project.

NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019

Improving remedial surgery practices for control of grapevine trunk disease to increase vineyard longevity Linnaeus (E van Zijll de Jong)

Biofungicide options to control powdery mildew (PM) (and Botrytis cinerea) on grape

Plant and Food Research (M Walter) Supported by MPI Sustainable Farming Fund as part of the Powdery mildew best practise project.

Cost Reduction/ Increased Profitability

Precision Grape Yield Analyser Programme 2016-2021 Lincoln Agritech Limited (A Werner)

Optimisation of irrigation and water savings in Marlborough Sauvignon blanc and Pinot noir and Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay and Merlot Thoughtful Viticulture (M Krasnow)

Future-proofing the wine sector with innovation: evaluation of ground cover, amenity & native plants as potential reservoirs of pathogens of grapevines Plant and Food Research (V Bell)

The Organic Focus Vineyard Project: Reassessing soil health, five years on Organic Winegrowers New Zealand (R Reider)

Monitoring the harlequin ladybird in Hawke’s Bay vineyards and the surrounding habitat

An automated grape yield estimation system – The Rod Bonfiglioli Scholarship

Plant and Food Research (V Bell)

Sustainability/ Organics

Thoughtful Viticulture (M Krasnow)

Massey University (M Legg)

Vineyard Ecosystems Programme

University of Auckland and Plant and Food Research (Various) Jointly funded by NZW and MBIE

Cost efficient optimisation of weed management in vineyards Thoughtful Viticulture (M Krasnow)

A comparison of physical means to reduce rot versus chemical means in New Zealand vineyards


Research Progress Reports

PROGRESS REPORTS Figure 1. Surveying a Marlborough vineyard in spring 2018

Grapevine trunk disease research update Mark Sosnowski1, Dion Mundy2 and Eline van Zijll de Jong3 South Australian Research & Development Institute 2 The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Limited 3 Linnaeus Laboratory mark.sosnowski@sa.gov.au 16-102

1

EUTYPA DIEBACK (ED) and botryosphaeria dieback (BD) are grapevine trunk diseases (GTDs) that cause significant yield and quality reduction worldwide. They threaten the sustainability of New Zealand vineyards and are becoming an increasing problem as vineyards age, leading to removal of vineyards. Current research aims to optimise pruning wound protection strategies by determining the duration of susceptibility of pruning wounds, validating the curative and preventative

properties of fungicides, and monitoring disease progress and spore inoculum in vineyards. Two vineyard trials were established on 3,640 Sauvignon Blanc vines at the Marlborough Research Centre during winter 2017. In the first trial, susceptibility of wounds to dieback diseases when pruning is early (early June), mid (mid July) and late (late August) is being evaluated, as well as the duration of susceptibility following pruning.

Vines were inoculated with fungal spores that cause ED and BD from 1 to 84 days after each pruning time. In the second trial, three fungicides: Gelseal Ultra™ (tebuconazole), Megastar™ (flusilazole) and Gem® (fluazinam), were applied to pruning wounds up to 7 days after pruning, and inoculated with fungal spores to evaluate curative properties. In addition, wounds were inoculated up to 14 days after fungicide application to evaluate pre-

ventative properties. Treated canes were removed in winter 2018, and assessment of the 4550 canes in the laboratory is 70% complete. Bark is being removed from each cane using a sharp knife and wood surface sterilised in bleach. Canes are cut into small chips which are placed on agar plates, followed by incubation at 22-26°C for 7 days and then assessed for presence or absence of ED or BD pathogen cultures. Assessments will be completed by

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Research Progress Reports

the end of April 2019, and results from the first year’s trials will be reported in the end-of-year report in June 2019. Trials were repeated in winter 2018 as described above, and canes will be collected in winter 2019 for assessment. Two Burkard spore traps are located in vineyards in Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough. The spore tape drums are changed each month and spore tape stored. The first year of spore tape samples collected daily from Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough sites have been analysed by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) for BD, ED and Petri disease (PD) pathogen spores, and compared against daily temperature and rainfall data from weather stations located on or in close proximity to the sites. Pathogen spores of BD and ED were detected

throughout the year in both regions. The occurrence of PD pathogen spores was sporadic. In Marlborough during the first year, BD pathogen spores were frequently detected in high numbers in late spring and summer in Marlborough. These spores occurred less frequently and in lower numbers in Hawke’s Bay. The occurrence of ED pathogen spores was similar in both regions. These were more prevalent from mid to late winter through to early summer as well as in autumn in Hawke’s Bay. Rain events were regularly recorded throughout the year at both sites, and spores of BD and ED pathogens tended to be detected during and after these events. Analysis is continuing from further spore tape samples from both Marlborough and Hawke’s Bay.

Grapevine trunk disease surveys were conducted in Hawke’s Bay and Marlborough in spring 2018 (Fig 1). Overall, 602 blocks were surveyed, consisting of 21 varieties, ranging from 9 to 38 years of age. In each block, 200 vines were visually assessed for dieback and foliar symptoms in a randomly selected section of each block (Fig 2). The survey comprised the same blocks that were surveyed in 2013 (NZW 13-100), revealing that 95 blocks (14%) had since been removed and 14 (2%) reworked. The overall mean incidence of dieback increased from 8 to 20%, and foliar symptoms from 0.1 to 0.3% over the 5 years across all the blocks assessed, which corresponded with an increase in average vine age from 12 to 17 years, considering only blocks from the 2013 survey

Figure 2. Grapevine trunk disease symptoms in a Hawke’s Bay vineyard.

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NZ WINEGROWER  APRIL/MAY 2019

were included. Overall trends in 2018 revealed variation in dieback incidence between vine ages, varieties, clones, rootstocks and pruning styles. The survey has also demonstrated short-term success of using remedial surgery for controlling grapevine trunk disease. Survey results will be detailed in a popular article later in the year. The outcome of this research will be to develop best-practice recommendations for the critical timing of grapevine pruning and wound protection based on fungicide efficacy, wound susceptibility and spore dispersal. In future, this research will expand to other regions with different environmental conditions, and provide localised regional recommendations, which will contribute to vineyard longevity. nzwine.com


Research Progress Reports

Biofungicide options to control powdery mildew (PM) and Botrytis cinerea on grape Wurms K, Agnew R, Neal S, Ah Chee A, Walter M, Vorster L The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Limited Corresponding author Kirstin.wurms@plantandfood.co.nz 16-101 POWDERY MILDEW (PM) control has emerged as one of the most challenging pathology problems of grapes in recent years. Problems with existing control methods include resistance to demethylation inhibitor (DMI) and quinone outside inhibitor (QOI) fungicides, and heavy inoculum loads

necessitating sulphur sprays at 7- to 10-day intervals. These issues are driving the need to provide new methods of PM control, preferably that are benign to the environment and human health. New Zealand Winegrowers and Plant & Food Research (PFR) have

developed two biofungicides based on the natural products soybean oil and anhydrous milk fat (AMF), which provide control of PM on a number of crops, as well as botrytis bunch rot control rivalling that of commercial fungicides. MIDI-Zen® (MZ) is a soybean-based fungicide and has been commer-

cialised by BotryZen (2010) Ltd. AMF has not been commercialised, despite its efficacy against PM in other crops. Both MZ and AMF require further PM and botrytis bunch rot efficacy data on grapes, particularly in the South Island on denser Sauvignon blanc grape canopies.

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Research Progress Reports

Bragato Research Institute is funding a research trial on Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc in 2018-19 in the mid-season between flowering and véraison. Fortnightly applications of MIDI-Zen and AMF are being evaluated for their control of PM and botrytis bunch rot on standard and low -density canopies, in comparison with a standard sulphur spray programme. Scanning electron microscopy studies indicate that AMF and MZ appear to have different modes of action, and the introduction of new chemistries with different modes of action, in combination with existing control methods, has the potential to increase efficacy and durability of PM control on grapes. If successful, these two biofungicides could lead to new tools for New Zealand growers to use against PM, and might become an integral part of an improved and more sustainable PM disease control programme. nzwine.com

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NZ Winegrower April/May 2019  

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NZ Winegrower April/May 2019  

NZ Winegrower April/May 2019